Government removes adult orphans from cash transfer program

The government has removed adult orphans from cash transfer program for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).

The monthly Sh.2, 000-stipend program gives support to households taking care of orphans and vulnerable children.

In Murang’a East Sub County, the replacement exercise, which was carried out last month, saw 153 households removed from the program, the Sub County Children’s Officer, Nanis Mutegi has said.

Mutegi told the Area Advisory Council (AAC) meeting that a household is removed from the program when the youngest of its children attains the age of 23 years.

Murang’a East Sub County has 742 households under the program with Township location having 294 beneficiaries, Gaturi location 160, Kimathi location 182, Gikindu and Mbiri 55 and 51 beneficiaries respectively.

The program, which was started in 2009, involves paying Sh.2, 000 to the beneficiaries for each month. The money, which is paid through Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank, is however disbursed after two months hence six payment cycles in a year.

The children’s officer said that the initiative gives support to households taking care of orphans and vulnerable children, with regularly and predictable monthly cash payments.

She added that the cash program encourages fostering of OVCs within their families and communities and also strengthens the capacity of families to care, protect and promote human capital development.

At the same time, the officer said that the government disbursed Sh.1, 353,455 to pay school fees for orphans and vulnerable children in Kiharu Constituency through the Presidential Secondary School Bursary Award in the last financial year.

She said that 69 students in boarding secondary schools benefited from the bursary, 31 of them being males and 38 females.

Mutegi said that the scholarship is given to the neediest in the OVC category to enhance enrollment and retention in secondary schools.

Allocation is done per constituency by a vetting committee, which is comprised of 5 members drawn from constituency assistant committee.

She said that applications for this year’s scholarships are underway and those interested should visit the children’s offices situated in each sub county.

Once a student has been enrolled in the program, they will be sponsored until they clear secondary school. The amounts per student range from Sh.15, 000 to Sh.30,000 per year depending on the school they are attending.

Mentorship is also offered to the beneficiaries as well as follow-ups on academic performance.

Source: Kenya News Agency