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This study evaluates the community care in Nigeria intervention in OVC, a case study of three communities in Anambra state. The objective of the study among others is to determine sustainability and what difference SHP programme has made in enhancing access to basic needs/welfare among beneficiaries, evaluate to what extent this model can be replicated and what factors can enhance that replication. Primary and secondary sources of data collection were employed. Questionnaires were used to gather primary data from the respondents while secondary data was gotten from necessary publications. The sample size used is three hundred and eighty seven (387) and this was randomly selected from three communities Umuawulu, Isseke, and Inland Town St Stephen’s from three local government of Awka South, Ihiala and Onitsha South respectively and one hundred and twenty nine (129) respondents were randomly selected and forty three from each community by stratified sampling technique. The statistical tools like t-test, F-test, ANOVA, Chi-square, Runs test and Simple Percentage methods of analysis were used to analyze the collected data. It was found out from the analysis that:
1. Self Help Project (SHP) has not significantly improved and secured the livelihood of OVCs and their households in Anambra state.
2. Self Help Project (SHP) has not been a success in Anambra state.
3. Self Help Project (SHP) has significantly improved the standard of living of OVCs in Anambra state.
4. Self Help Project (SHP) can be significantly sustained among participants in the communities.
Tables, graphs and charts were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Variances that exist among and between variables were analyzed using Analysis of variance (ANOVA). Analysis of covariance (ANOCOVA) was not employed since there is no interaction among the variables due to the independent contribution of each variable used.
1.1 Background to the Study
The concept of Self Help Project (SHP) is to motivate the guardians of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) households in the Savings and Loans Associations (SLA) structure to support the various aspects of the program and to boost their livelihood, and the nutritional security of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).
The SHP can be in the form of demonstration farm in which they are supplied with special specie of cassava stem to plant and grow food, thereby multiplying the stems in the community. It could also be in the form of livestock or any other project as may be conceived by the SLA members which is considered practicable.
Self Help project or program are usually sponsored interventions or scheme (either by Government, Agencies, Donors, NGOs or Individuals Foundations), under which members of a community are encouraged to better themselves through means such as creating self-employment, growing own food, or making own shelter. The members contribute their labour and/or materials while the sponsors provide equipment, infrastructure, land or fund (Todaro and Smith, 2009). Self Help Project or Program in this context is the available resources provided for household care givers of OVC to improve their livelihood and attain quality life for themselves and the OVC under their care.
Self Help Project is community owned and as such easy to sustain. It is an effective way of improving household secure livelihood. It is aimed at empowering both households, care givers, child heads of houses, and individual OVC. The practice is transferable and replicable in other communities or countries as best practices. The monitoring and evaluation of progress and impact respectively is both participatory, and bench marks, challenges, failures and successes easy to track in a shared learning form. Self Help Project is an aspect of social safety net organized by communities and countries with the overall aim of achieving better quality of life for OVC and their households, and empowering individuals to be self-employed, and reduce the unemployment crisis.
It was in line with the goals of the MDGs that Community Care in Nigeria (CCN)/OVC Household Self Help Projects is designed to guide the actions and inactions of the citizenry towards sustainable development. Household Self Help Projects, therefore, strategizes development with the aim of improving the quality of life of the people.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of eight time-bound development goals agreed by the international community for achieving development. The goals are time bound because they should be achieved within a specific time limit, 2015. The goals of MDGs address a wide variety of issues concerning poverty, education, gender equality, health, the environment and global partnership for development.
There are millions Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Nigeria and Africa due to AIDS pandemic and conflicts. This is because the challenges of OVC has reached catastrophic proportion in many communities and countries (Nwankwo, 2011). Given that the number of OVC is projected to triple over the next ten (10) years, it is tremendously important to address this problem and delineate the contours of public action (Frankenberger and Caston, 2013).
The proportion has now reached 15 – 17 parents in some countries. By the year 2000 – AIDS orphans were estimated at 12 million and are projected at 45 million by 2015. This is due to the continents high number of conflicts as well as many street children (Soaga, 2006).
The impact of the OVC crisis is being felt in several areas by many communities and families, and in multifaceted areas by many countries. The challenge to provide a nurturing and stable environment to orphans and vulnerable children, avoiding stigmatization and discrimination; and preventing adverse educational and nutritional outcomes is enormous, considering that resources are limited, and in some cases scarce, and communities and facilities are being overwhelmed, and the realization of the MDG and other international cum national goals is being threatened.
Since the risk of orphanhood has assumed enormous visibility largely due to AIDS, and conflicts, and there is no doubt that coping with the risk of the increasing number of OVC poses a serious developmental challenge to Nigeria. It becomes more worrisome when the contours of public action are unclear, and some interventions uncoordinated, partly due to limited knowledge of the magnitude of the problem, and or, lack of clarity on the effectiveness of interventions. And true to the African tradition of brotherhood, the extended family and communities have risen to the occasion, and many grandparents have demonstrated remarkable resilience and creativity in their responses.
Development partners, Non-Governmental Organizations, Faith- Based Organizations, Government Agencies, women groups, philanthropic individuals and institutions have been mobilized to meet the crisis at various levels. Although the combined efforts has helped in raising the awareness of the plight of OVC, Nigeria has not mounted the kind of response that is needed to match the severity of the crisis, finding out new ideas and innovations of lowering the cost of raising OVC and reducing the impact of OVC on households.
Again this is due to insufficient knowledge of the magnitude of OVC issues, its impact on socio-economic development, the weakness or strength of the existing coping strategies, lack of clarity on the advantages and disadvantages of possible interventions, limited capacity to implement interventions and of-course scarce resources.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Before now, various interventions on/ response to Orphans and Vulnerable Children crisis have been a one-off event or activity; i.e, Sharing/ distribution of School Uniforms, school bags, Sandals, writing materials or payment of school fees. Once the one-off support expires, the OVC goes back to square one or starting point. It appeared as a fire brigade approach.
Therefore, Community Care in Nigeria Orphans and Vulnerable Children project by Christian Aid- Nigeria was an innovation in OVC intervention in Nigeria.
The concept of Self Help Project (SHP) came up as a strategy to sustain the Community Care in Nigeria Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project sponsored by Christian- Aid, Nigeria with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The idea is to support and motivate the guardians of OVC households in the Savings and Loans Associations (SLA) structure to support the various aspects of the program (Youth & Kids Clubs), to boost their livelihood, including the nutritional security of OVC and improve the Health/educational status of OVC in the community.
The Self Help Projects started with the formation of Savings Loans Association (SLA) headed by a Chairman and composed of not more than thirty persons with a Trained community Facilitator who builds the capacity of SLA members on meetings management, Business skills, book keeping, Savings skills, home care and human relations. Each SLA has two components of Kids Club (ages 6-11) and Youth Club (ages 12-18) each with a community Facilitator. Each of the components meets once in a week for their activities; business for SLA, coping/Life skills for Youth and Kids Clubs. The facilitator uses a Module or Manual developed for each purpose. The SLAs were assisted with High breed specie of Cassava Stem sourced from Agric Center at Igbariam and Fertilizers. The cassava stems when harvested will distributed to individual members of SLA who in turn will sell them to other community members as they increase during harvesting period.
The overall goal was to improve the living standard of OVC households as a result of improved livelihood. The contributions in SLAs are used in turn to boost their small scale businesses. At the end of the year the monies were returned to the center and some percentage are shared or totally liquidated to start afresh in a new year, pending on what they all agreed to do.
SHP could also be in the form of livestock or any other project as may be conceived by the SLA members which is considered practicable.
Self Help project or program are usually sponsored interventions or scheme (either by Government, Agencies, Donors, NGOs or Individuals Foundations), under which members of a community are encouraged to better themselves through creating self-employment, growing own food, or making own shelter. The members contribute their labour and/or materials while the sponsors provide equipment, infrastructure, land or fund (Todaro and Smith, 2009).
Self Help Project or Program in this context is the available resources provided for household care givers of OVC to improve their livelihood and attain quality lives for themselves and the OVC under their care.
Of the 13 Million cumulative number of orphaned children by AIDS, 12 million are Africans (UNAIDS, 1999). Almost one-third of Sub-Saharan African countries are either currently engaged in civil, border or armed conflicts, including recently introduced suicide bombing, or are in post-conflicts situations.
In Nigeria due to religious, ethnic, border, resources, and political conflicts/crisis, and recently Boko Haram bombings, millions of young children are displaced when their parents go to battle front, are missing or are killed. Some parents migrate to other areas leaving the children behind.
The consequences of losing one parent or both parents differ among children. Some of these children may be fortunate to live with surviving grand parents who ordinarily should depend on their own children for survival; and as such the situation will exacerbate the poverty of the elderly in the communities. Still greater numbers of these children without support from any source are forced to eke out a living in the labour force or become street children. Greater numbers of these children do not have access to health care, shelter, clothing, care and education. Majority of these children will be frequently exploited and abused sexually due to their vulnerability. It is children in these categories being financially desperate that are likely to end up being forced into exploitative situations, such as armed rubbery and prostitution, as a survival means. This is why urgent strategic intervention is a compulsory necessity.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is to evaluate the success or otherwise of Christian Aid- funded “Community Care in Nigeria” (CCN) project on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in three communities of Anambra State; and specifically the study is set out:
1. To determine if the secure livelihood of the OVCs and their household has improved in the selected communities in Anambra state.
2. To determine the success or otherwise of the CCN program in Anambra state.
3. To determine if Community Care in Nigeria (CCN) has improved standard of living of OVC in Anambra state.
4. To determine the sustainability of Community Care in Nigeria (CCN) program among participants in Anambra state.
1.4 Research Questions
1. Has Community Care in Nigeria (CCN) improved and secure the livelihood of OVCs and their households?
2. Has Community Care in Nigeria (CCN) been a success or failure in Anambra state?
3. Has the Community Care in Nigeria (CCN) Project improved standard of living of OVCs in Anambra state?
4. Can the Community Care in Nigeria (CCN) model be sustained among participating communities in Anambra state?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1. H0: Self Help Project (SHP) has not significantly improved and secured the livelihood of OVCs and their households in Anambra state.
2. H0: Self Help Project (SHP) has not been a success in Anambra state.
3. H0: Self Help Project (SHP) has not significantly improved the standard of living of OVCs in Anambra state.
4. H0: Self Help Project (SHP) cannot be significantly sustained among participants in the communities.
1.6 Significance of the Study
A good understanding of SHP/OVC issues will go a long way to motivate the community effort in planning for SHP/OVC issues to meet household livelihood challenges. There is no doubt that a good planning will enhance better structures which in turn will facilitate quality service delivery to affected households. When individuals and households have a good and clear perception of the plight of OVC and, their role in caring for them, they will be motivated to act appropriately and rightly. Countries, Communities, groups and philanthropists who want to plan or implement OVC household strengthening, will find the study a ready guide for actions.
Development Partners, Agencies, Ministries, Organizations and Implementers working on OVC issues will find this study a road map for SHP/OVC program implementation, as the bests practices and success stories will be replicated in Countries, Communities, States, and across the country as a tool for effective SHP/OVC household Service delivery.
This study will also enhance policymakers’ ability to offer effective social safety net and social protection to the growing number of Child-headed homes, Orphans /vulnerable children and, households in Awka South L.G.A, of Anambra State and Nigeria.
Since there is dearth of literature in this area of study, it is therefore the aim of this study as well to bridge the gaps in knowledge with respect to cost-effectiveness of the interventions, and the potential incentive effects of Self Help Projects (SHP) for OVC Care.
Finally, this study will enhance the general understanding of SHP/OVC household issues, and thereby contribute to the body of knowledge, and motivate further research/study into secure livelihood, social safety Net issues for improved quality of life in households.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study will not be able to go into comprehensive SHP/OVC programs, or into various SHP/OVC strategies of different organizations, agencies and partners, neither will it cover all the states of Nigeria. The research will focus on six Communities of Anambra State, two from each Senatorial zone; Nibo and Umuawulu from Awka South LGA in Anambra Central, Ihite and Isieke in Ihiala LGA of Anambra South and, Onitsha South in Anambra North Senatorial Zones of the State, with particular interest on:
- Christian Aid CCN/OVC implementation strategy
- OVC households who benefited from the Self Help Project (SHP) of CA-Nigeria.
- OVC Care givers or heads of households
- Facilitators and key members of SLA as Managers of SHP.
- Some selected OVC in those communities whose households benefited from SHP/Savings and Loans Associations (SLA).
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This research work is focused on secure livelihood for sustainable development, with particular reference to CCN/OVC household self help projects in three communities of Awka South L.G.A in Anambra State. Orphans and Vulnerable Children OVC as an emerging crisis especially in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa has different dimensions that are vast in scope. Addressing their needs and mitigating negative impacts of the growing OVC population world wide is a high priority, especially when it is recognized as an issue with social, economic, and human rights dimensions.
Secure livelihood is an aspect in economic dimension of OVC, which in itself is vast. Therefore this study will only focus on the CCN/OVC implantation strategy framework of Christian Aid-Nigeria as a model for SHP/OVC care in low-resource communities and countries. The study will narrow itself on qualitative aspect of the CCN model and determine the success or otherwise
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