A study to explore the extent of survival assistance to orphans within the family kinship system: the case of libala and chilenje

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Muliwana, Ndubu
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The aim of this study was to explore the extent of Survival Assistance to Orphans within the family/kinship system living in Libala and Chilenje. A Case-Control Study, community based, was conducted in Libala and Chilenje in February, 1997. Both are medium density areas, situated in Lusaka Urban, Zambia. The Regiment Catholic Parish gives people in these communities, small scale services regardless of their church affilia¬tion. 60 households with orphans, referred to as Cases, were randomly selected as study samples, and selection was done for each community. 60 households without orphans were selected as Controls from the same neighbourhood. To have a deeper perspective into the problem, 4 illustrative Case Histories were taken along with the survey, and a discu¬ssion was also held with the overseer of the Regiment Catholic Parish. Finally, data was also obtained through observation of the activities carried out by the care¬takers. The following tools were used: An interview administered Questionnaire to a sample of 60 orphan care-takers and 60 controls, was undertaken. Interviews and observations were employed to obtain information from the care-takers and the church who render small scale services to these communities. The results of the study showed that the majority of orphan care-takers and their corresponding controls, were aged 41 and above. The orphan care-takers were mainly widowed, elderly, female, who had attained secondary edu¬cation. They were usually unemployed, earning less than K50,000.00 per month. The majority of the orphan care¬takers kept one to two orphans aged between 11 and 15 years. Most care-takers were close relatives, often aunts or grandparents to the orphans. Cases obtained slightly more support, but this support had not enabled them to take care of the orphans adequately. Controls managed to do so inspite the fact that little support was given them. Most of the support rendered to orphan care-takers and their Corresponding Controls came from the church and from their relatives. Orphan care-takers needed to be supplemented because they were more vulnerable than the Controls. Therefore, mobilization of resources by the Government in close liaison with Non Governmental Organizations (N.G.Os), Communities and volunteers, needed to be undertaken. The principal recommendation from the study addressed to the Government of the Republic of Zambia and Donors are: 1. Policy: The Government should review the existing policy to ensure that the social welfare provided by Social Security meets the basic needs of life to orphans and widows; targeting those who are elderly, unemployed, frail and unable to undertake income generating measures. The Government in liaison with Donors, such as WHO, UNICEF, N.G.Os. such as CINDI, PAM, Churches, Volunteers, etc, should form an Orphan Care-giver Support System in all health institutions and outreach services to draw up policies, work out support systems to orphans and their care-takers. Evaluation: To monitor and enhance evaluation of orphan support system. Various forms and reports should be designed or reviewed to ensure maintenance of proper records
Assistance in emergencies , Orphans(assistance)