Survival strategies for child headed households in Nakawa Division in Kampala District.
Child headed households in Africa, have come up as a result of frequent deaths by parents that have left behind orphans without a care taker. Child headed households have been observed in areas of Africa and Uganda that have been badly affected by AIDS. When both parents die children are left to struggle for survival on their own without a care giver. In the past, the extended family would care for the orphans but the increased deaths among adults have weakened and overwhelmed the extended family support. It is worse in an urban setting where every household struggles to live on its own. The general objective of the study was, to examine the survival strategies of child headed households in an urban setting in Kampala district. The study was done in Nakawa division, Kampala district. The study population was orphans heading households. A total of 80 children heading households were interviewed, eight FGD were conducted, four for children and four for community leaders. The study was descriptive, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. Quantitatively, simple frequency and percentage tables were adopted for the descriptive analysis of variables of interest. Quotations were used in addition to the quantitative findings. According to the findings of the study, all interviewed children were involved in different kinds of work in the informal sector. Children experienced different problems at work like; low or no payment, working for long hours, bad treatment by their employers/customers, unreliable employment/termination without notice, work injury and accidents, competing with adults for the same work, failure to raise money for their bosses. Children experienced challenges in meeting their daily needs such as food, shelter, education, medical care. Other challenges include: lack of parental love and care, exploitation and discrimination, separation from siblings failure to save for the future, and uncertainty about the future. Children heading households had assumed adult roles of working for survival of their families. They are most employed in the informal sector where they work for survival. The existence of child headed households in the community is an indicator of collapsing extended family ties. CHHs have come up as a result of increased orphan hood especially, in an urban setting where there is weak or no extended family ties. CBOs, FBOs, NGOs, and government are recommended institutions that can offer sustainable structures that actively follow the occurrence of CHHs and provide care for them, address their needs without creating dependency but building on existing coping strategy.