OSCAR’s impact

There is actually a lot of scope to have serious positive impacts in the lives of these vulnerable children. Our data indicate that while CCI’s are generally well resourced and supported by religious institutions, non-governmental organizations, and individual well-wishers and donors, most of the families caring for orphans in the community receive little or no support from any of these. About 30% are relying on the government program for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children (a cash transfer of approximately $25 every two months, irrespective of the number of children being cared for), or other relatives.

Fully 36% of households receive no external support at all, and almost none receive help of any kind from non-governmental organizations or religious institutions. Clearly these are opportunities for churches, community-based organizations, and the government, to provide all kinds of support to families and the community to care for orphans – school subsidies and scholarships; school feeding programs; expansion of the government cash transfer for orphans and vulnerable children, to name only a few.

Phase II of our study is investigating the effect of several possible mechanisms by which the resilience of children facing adversity could be strengthened – the quality of child-caregiver relationships, participation in organized sports, religious or civic activities, time spent in nature, among others. If we can identify what types of strategies being used, for example by the CCI’s that are promoting the better outcomes among the children living in them, then we can use this information to develop, adapt, and implement, evidence-based interventions.