Validated by the University of Leeds, United Kingdom
“I declare that Survival In Child-Headed Households: A Study On The Impact Of World Vision Support On Coping Strategies In Child-Headed Households In Kakuuto County, Rakai District, Uganda is my own independent work and investigation and that all sources used and cited have been indicated and acknowledged by means of complete references.”
“I declare that material presented in ‘Survival In Child-Headed Households: A Study On The Impact Of World Vision Support On Coping Strategies In Child-Headed Households In Kakuuto County, Rakai District, Uganda’ has not been accepted in substance or in part for any degree and is not being concurrently submitted for another degree”. “I grant that the dissertation may be made available for UK inter-library loan or photocopying, and that the title and summary may be made available to outside organisations”.
“I grant that the dissertation may be held in the library of Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and that the title and summary may be made available by OCMS to its partner organisations through its web site”.
“The views of this dissertation are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Leeds, the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies or World Vision”.
“Children of the world are innocent, vulnerable and dependent. They are also curious, active and full of hope. Their time should be one of joy and peace, of playing, learning and growing. Their future should be shaped in harmony and co-operation. Their lives should mature, as they broaden their perspectives and gain new experiences”. (UN, 1990)
Orphans living on their own in child-headed households are a new, but growing phenomenon, which has resulted from the overwhelming number of orphans caused by the HIV/AIDS scourge. With the traditional extended family and community support networks disintegrating, orphans in CHHs have had to depend on their own resilience by developing a continuum of coping and survival strategies. Any support to orphans in CHH especially by NGOs must be conscious of these dynamics, if coping capacities in CHH are to be enhanced in a way that creates sustainability in CHHs. The failure to appropriately enhance resilience in CHH it is hypothesised breeds dependency, jeopardising chances of survival in the event of NGOs withdrawal from CHHs.
This study has attempted to establish the effect of NGO intervention both on the coping strategies in CHHs and also on other community support systems. Because World Vision is a Faith Based Organisation, special emphasis is put on scrutinising the effectiveness of strategic initiatives especially with the dominant Church in the area.
Key findings from the study include the fact that the population of CHHs is still rising and that NGOs like World Vision are partly, though indirectly responsible to the emergence of CHHs. Secondly, it was observed that CHH in areas where NGOs like WV were operating, were found to be heavily dependent on NGO support. Thus it was observed that this especially weakened community philanthropic initiatives towards CHHs. On the contrary, NGO intervention was seen to have potential both to strengthen coping capacities in CHHs and to destroy detrimental coping strategies. The sustainability of many NGO interventions in CHHs though very helpful was seen to be in doubt. Nevertheless, with careful interventions, CHHs can be strengthened to sufficiently contribute to the nurturing of orphans.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to acknowledge the contribution made by the following persons towards successful completion of this study. First and foremost I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Prof. Pricilla Kariuki, Mr. Moses Dombo, Mr. Philip Wandawa, Dr. Muyinda Mande, Prof. G.E.M Ogutu, Dr George Birungi, Dr Micheal Kyomya and Prof. J.P.Muzaale for guiding my colleagues and I through the precious modules that have transformed us into persons that can make a difference and leave a legacy while working with the poor and oppressed of this World. Special thanks go specifically to Prof. J.P Muzaale for refining my social research skills and to Dr. Micheal Kyomya for supervising this paper.
I also want to express my appreciation to Prof Deryke Belshaw and David Buttrick from OCMS, Peter Sang and Patricia Mulwa from World Vision (Kenya), and Edward Gamuwa, Dr Sam Luzobe, Lucy Muzaale, Edith Bazanye, Stuart Tumwikirize, Dominic Mutabazi, Edward Mubiru and Philisita Odra-laga from World Vision (Uganda) for their invaluable support and encouragement.
Special thanks also go to Grace Mayanja and Veronica Nandutu along with the Kakuuto ADP team for facilitating the selection and access of CHHs interviewed for the study. Without your support it would have been practically impossible for me to accomplish this task. Mention must be made of the three community development facilitators, Samalie Nabbosa, Dickson Lirwana and James Khawa; and the several other grassroots workers who volunteered very useful information for the study. Thank you for your commitment and good work with children under extremely difficult circumstances.
I am also very grateful to my research assistants Jesse Ssekitoleko, Fred Bugembe, Rita Nanungi, Doreen Kukugiza; my typesetter Judith Nakubulwa, and Mr. Enock Mugenyi and Stella Nyanzi for accepting to read through my script.
Lastly I also would like to express my gratitude to World Vision and to OCMS for according me this opportunity to further enhance my career. It is my prayer that this program lives on to reach more and more committed Christian development workers, who by virtue of being placed in remote rural communities cannot take advantage of conventional university programs.
Let me also take this opportunity to wish my colleagues on the program success.
To the Late Charles Lwanga (R.I.P), for your tireless and dedicated services to the poor and oppressed and for your love and enormous investment in the lives of the people that God gave the privilege of knowing and interacting with you. God bless your soul.
And to the young household heads like Annet Nakambala who, have courageously taken care of their siblings in Child- Headed Households. May God give you special grace and providence.
To my wife Mabel, and my children; Sarah, Gloria, Gideon and Grace, with whom I share the calling to make a difference in this hurting world.