Cash Transfers for Children in Difficult Circumstances

William Omondi Odipo

On November 14th  I attended the Dagoreti Area Advisory Council (AAC) meeting at Maisha Poa.  The District Children’s Officer (DCO) and her Deputy made a presentation about a Cash Transfer Model that was piloted in 2004 and officially launched in Nairobi, Nyanza and Garissa in 2007. Dagoretti began benefiting from it in 2009.

Currently, the fund regularly benefits 153,000 households in Kenya and it is sponsored by Government of Kenya, DFID, World Bank and UNICEF.  The project has a total budgetary allocation of 8 billion per annum.  It  aims to maintain orphans and vulnerable children in their respective families.

Its specific objectives are:

1. Provide a regular support system for the most vulnerable households and

2. Enhance the capacity of households in; food consumption and security, education (enrollment and class attendance),  basic health, access to Birth Certificates and other documents of registration.

In the forthcoming financial year, the project will  transfer a bi-monthly amount of Kshs. 4000/= per household. In Dagoretti North Constituency, 2,312 households within the localities of Ruthimitu, Uthiru, Waithaka and Riruta will gain from it.

Eligibility criteria

1. Presence of Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in a household. (the child must; have lost one or both parents, be living in a household where one parents has been bedridden for 3 months with cancer, TB or HIV, suffering from cerebral palsy, autism)

2. A household must be the neediest in comparison to others in a locality.

3. The household must have been a resident of the area for the last 12 months.

4. The OVC must have a Birth Certificate and be a person below 18 years.

Selection Criteria

1. Sensitization of community at institutional level. E.g. the forum we had this morning

2. Sensitization of community at locational levels through Barazas where the local population will select their locational representatives who must; be conversant with the locality, persons with integrity and possess basic literacy skills of reading and writing.

3. Enumerators will collect socio-economic data  of the identified households.

4. The method of selecting the neediest beneficiaries of the project will be scaled using computers.

5. To eliminate bias in transferring the fund, the names of the selected beneficiaries will validated in a public Baraza in which the beneficiries must be present to seen by the area residents.

Exit Strategy

A household will cease to benefit from the fund when;

1. Its beneficiary attains 18 years of age.

2. The beneficiary relocates to another area.

OVC Secondary School Scholarship

The fund is different from the above Cash Transfer in the sense that it will be disbursed to the DCO who is the sub-county coordinator. Thereafter, each person or institution will fill out forms of request, attach relevant documents and present them to the DCO.

Its annual maximum allocation is Kshs. 15,000/= @day scholar and Kshs. 30,000/= @ boarders with a maximum of 44 beneficiaries per constituency.

Eligibility Criteria

1. The child must be a double or single orphan.

2. There must be proof that s/he is in a public secondary school.

3. S/he must present a copy of the current report card.

4. S/he must not be a beneficiary of another bursary.

5. There must proof from the child’s school that s/he is unable to pay school fees. This will be verified through presentation of receipts to show arrears owed to one’s school, class attendance register, student’s performance and review of the parent’s/guardian’s occupation.

Institutions  ought to seriously consider the above concept.

1. The government is very clear that the child’s place is in the family and the community at large. We also need to begin laying emphasis on home-based care.

2. Sensitize and encourage  parents  to join the cash transfer. Other constituencies like Kajiado and Kibra are also earmarked for the fund.

3. An important question remains how can institutions helping vulnerable children  benefit from this fund or its component on  the secondary school scholarship.

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Active Listening

To be a good communicator be aware of these barriers.

To be a good communicator be aware of these barriers.

More on communication skills read here

Hearing and listening are not the same thing. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound. It is involuntary and simply refers to the reception of aural stimuli. Listening is a selective activity which involves the reception and the interpretation of aural stimuli. It involves decoding the sound into meaning.

Listening is divided into two main categories: passive and active. Passive listening is little more that hearing. It occurs when the receiver of the message has little motivation to listen carefully, such as we often do when listening to music, television, or when being polite.

People speak at 100 to 175 words per minute (WPM), but they can listen intelligently at 600 to 800 WPM. Since only a part of our mind is paying attention, it is easy to go into mind drift—thinking about other things while listening to someone. The cure for this is active listening—which involves listening with a purpose. It may be to gain information, obtain directions, understand others, solve problems, share interest, see how another person feels, show support, etc. It requires that the listener attends to the words and the feelings of the sender for understanding. It requires the receiver to hear the various messages, understand the meaning, and then verify the meaning by offering feedback. It takes the same amount or more energy than speaking. The following are a few traits of active listeners:

  • Spend more time listening than talking.
  • Do not finish the sentences of others.
  • Do not answer questions with questions.
  • Are aware of biases. We all have them. We need to control them.
  • Never daydreams or become preoccupied with their own thoughts when others talk.
  • Let the other speakers talk. Do not dominate the conversations.
  • Plan responses after the others have finished speaking, NOT while they are speaking.
  • Provide feedback, but do not interrupt incessantly.
  • Analyze by looking at all the relevant factors and asking open-ended questions. Walk others through by summarizing.
  • Keep conversations on what others say, NOT on what interests them.
  • Take brief notes. This forces them to concentrate on what is being said.