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Esther Clift - Older People find hope in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya

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Esther Clift - Older People find hope in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya

Esther Clift - Older People find hope in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya

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  • Selected aims of the project outlined.What role does faith, spirituality and religious organisations play in the lives of older people living in informal urban settlements in Nairobi? What are the barriers to older people participating in organised groups within the informal settlements? Under what circumstances are older people likely to take up the spiritual support offered to them?
  • Current research on ageing in sub Saharan Africa, suggesting rapid increases and also significantly changing roles of older people within traditional culturesInformal settlements historically viewed as the domain of young people seeking employment, but increasing numbers of older people resident. Estimated 71% urban residents in Kenya live in the slums, and a significant percentage of those will be growing older.Therefore both timely and relevant to policy making for a secure future for older people. The Rowe and Khan model suggests that those older adults who are ageing successfully are those who are less impaired by disease, and maintain cognitive and physical capacity as well as active engagement with life( Sadler and Biggs 2006). Studies of Spirituality, and a spiritual dimension to life have shown they enhance successful ageing, but this had not been reviewed in low income communities. However work done in the Nairobi informal communities suggest a rise in religious and social organisations to support older people are beginning to replace kin support ( Kodzi et al 2010).This qualitative research was building on published work by Kodzi to understand what specific aspects of spirituality and religiosity influenced wellbeing, and then to compare how religious leaders understood their support roles.
  • Kenyan 1999 national population and housing census report suggested 4.1% population (1.5million people) would be over 60 in 2010.
  • Current research based upon qualitative data conducted in 2 slum areas, Korogocho & Viwandani, in Nairobi, Kenya.Collaboration with the African Population Health and Research Centre (APHRC).Using the UPHD Ageing Qualitative Study(Urbanization,Poverty and Health Dynamics)Part of the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS)Investigating migration, poverty & health across the life course among slum dwellers in NairobiQuantitative data collected from members from about 22,000 households; nested qualitative study of 72 older people who were selected for gender, location, recent or historic migration.Study operating since Aug 2002, funded by Wellcome Trust in collaboration with CRA Southampton Univ.
  • From the 72 interviews, faith based institutions were selected as they were mentioned by the participants and then sought out on location.5 institutions were located, which included the Catholic Church, the Redeemed Church, The Mosque, The Centre for Urban Mission, and the Spiritual Unity group.The interviews were coded manually.The themes were split practically/ spiritually, so practical support included things such as saving clubs (merry go rounds), or donations of food and clothing. Spiritual support included pastoral visiting, saying prayers/mass, or reading Holy Book.
  • The Day Centre and residential home is the only one of its kind in Korogocho, run by the Catholic Church.
  • John Otendo is the Social Worker for the Catholic Parish which covers Korogocho, who was happy to be interviewed and identified for the research.
  • Aspects of positive Spirituality:Within this cultural context Spiritual concepts were freely expressed. 84% mentioned God, or their religious support without specific prompting.15 % talked about their specific involvement with religious organisations as being positive.Barriers: 7% suggested there was no formal support from their religious organisation.Syncrestism, I will talk about a little more.
  • Defined as: an expression of both belief and action which is defined as a personal quest for meaning and purpose in life (Atchley 1997 )This has been expanded by Ortez and Langer (2002), who included five core components: connecting with others, relating to a transcendent presence in life, ‘power of living’ or personal strategies for coping with change, such as hope and faith, manifest expression such as public and private expressions of spirituality, and meaning making or reflection on concerns
  • Spiritual support of meeting together, saying prayers, and mass, and then supporting people in times of crisis, with funerals particularly.Practical: food, clothing and financial aid for funerals or loans for school fees.The organisations themselves expressed their lack of resources to meet the needs of all the community groups they were trying to support
  • Only 1 person specifically mentioned they felt deliberately excluded (ageism), and described not being able to understand the language of the service providers (Sheng). Others worried they would not be able to keep up, or participate fully either because of their lack of finances, or their immobility and inability to meet every week as was expected.
  • To have their physical needs met, people where pragmatic about where they would access support, so would visit the Catholic day Centre on Tuesday for food as well as the Mosque on Friday for Alms, and the leaders were both aware and sympathetic to that.However, it seemed older people were less likely to be diverted from their spiritual support, even in times of crisis. One of the leaders did suggest that in dire situations older people may be inclined to resort to witchcraft to alleviate their situation.(This was a question we specifically put to the providers)
  • findings:High percentage of older people rely on their underlying spirituality to give HOPE to their situations. Only the Catholic group had a specific group for older people, feeding them and offering Spiritual Counsel None of the other agencies had specific programmes or activities for older people, nor had any insights into their specific needs.Implications: Although most people were resigned to this, and felt that as resources are so limited, they would rather see investment in young people to give them employment, than in themselves, as they had some well developed coping strategies from their years of experience.Training: Key to help pastors, and leaders understand how critical Spiritual support is to this generation, and to support them, without patronising.
  • A small plug: If you are interested in hearing more about the informal communities in Nairobi, Jen Baird is presenting a paper tomorrow morning at 11.00 in the Intergenerational Relations stream.

Transcript

  • 1. Older People find Hope in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi, Kenya 1MSc Gerontology programme, Faculty of Social & Human Sciences University of Southampton; 2Centre for Research on Ageing ,University of Southampton www.southampton.ac.uk/ageing Esther Clift1 Maria Evandrou2 and Gloria Chepngeno-Langat2
  • 2. Outline • Research Questions • Background • Study • Data and methods • Preliminary results • Discussion and implications • Next steps 2
  • 3. Research Questions • What role does faith, spirituality and religious organisations play in the lives of older people living in informal urban settlements in Nairobi? • What are the barriers to older people participating in organised groups within the informal settlements? • Under what circumstances are older people likely to take up the spiritual support offered to them? 3
  • 4. Background • Ageing in sub Saharan Africa • Ageing in informal settlements • Growing literature on spirituality and successful ageing in north America and Europe (Coleman 2005; Sadler and Biggs 2006) • To what extent do these links persist in a low income setting in the global south? (Kodzi et al 2010) 4
  • 5. Population and religion 1949 1999 2010 2020 over60 270,000 1.4 mill 1.5 mill 2.2mill Total pop 5.4 mill 28.7mill 36.5 mill 43.1 mill %pop over 60 5% 4.8% 4.1% 5.1% Religion • Protestant 45% • Catholic 33% • Indigenous 10% • Muslim 10% • Other 2% 5 adapted from the 1999 National Population and Housing Census Report
  • 6. Study Context • Current research based upon qualitative data conducted in 2 slum areas, Korogocho & Viwandani, in Nairobi, Kenya. • African Population Health and Research Centre (APHRC) • UPHD Ageing Qualitative Study • Part of the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS) • Investigating migration, poverty & health across the life course among slum dwellers in Nairobi • Quantitative data collected from members from about 22,000 households • Study operating since Aug 2002, funded by Wellcome Trust • In collaboration with University of Southampton CRA 6
  • 7. Study area: Nairobi city Source: UN-Habitat (2004) Nairobi
  • 8. © APHRC (2000) file pictures
  • 9. Data and methods • Secondary analysis of 72 qualitative interviews • 5 number of in-depth interviews with faith- based service providers (new primary data collection) • Content analysis • Thematic analysis ( e.g.practical support) Esther Clift BSG July 6 2011 9
  • 10. Population pyramid 2003-2005 in Korogocho and Viwandani. 10
  • 11. Esther Clift BSG July 6 2011 11
  • 12. Esther Clift BSG July 6 2011 12
  • 13. Preliminary results • Aspects of positive Spirituality/religiosity • Roles of religious institutions – Spiritual – practical challenges • Barriers to participation • Areas of syncretism 13
  • 14. Letting older people speak for themselves: 1. Positive Spirituality: Definition: an expression of both belief and action which is defined as a personal quest for meaning and purpose in life (Atchley 1997 ) Ortez and Langer( 2002) components of positive spirituality: a. Connecting with others b. Transcendent presence c. Power of living d. Manifest expression e. Meaning making 2. Role of religious organisations 3. Barriers to participation 4. Evidence of Syncretism 14
  • 15. 1. Positive Spirituality: QAKMB01040 ‘ We just pray to God to sustain us. You wake up and go out, if you get something small in terms of income, you thank God for it.’ QAKMA01045 ‘when things are hard you can only tell God to take control.’ QAKFB02069 ‘most times we depend on God for provision’. QAVFB02068 ‘I praise God every day.’ QAVFA02036 ‘ I am ok, I don’t mind what I am doing and it is not good to despise what God has given you.’ 15
  • 16. 2. Role of religious organisations • QAVFB02067: ‘I have some friends who I associate with through the prayer meetings, and we advise each other on life issues.’ • QAKFB 02069: ‘The sisters of Mji wa Wazee usually give us beans and maize.’ • DO BO283:’ The challenge of the church is that the church is not able to meet all the needs of these people.’ • DO BO283’It is to encourage them so that they don’t lose hope even if they are growing weak day by day, but that is life ’. 16
  • 17. 3. Barriers to participation • QAKFB03047 ‘at times I am not able to afford food, where can I get money to be contributing to the group regularly? Most things if you want to participate you have to have money.’ • QAKFB01043 ‘There isn’t any group which supports women’. • QAKMA02053: ‘I fear getting involved in groups. I don’t really hate them as such, but my age does not allow me to do certain things. I may not be able to get their pace.’ • DO BO283:’there is very little you can do, because you cannot force an adult who has his own capacity of thinking to do what he doesn’t want to do!’ 17
  • 18. 4. Evidence of Syncretism • DW BO285: ‘where there is scarcity in the country, for example, food scarcity and people are hungry, or there is some sort of scarcity in the country, people run to the other side when they hear there is something good there’. • DO BO283: ‘not on the side of old people, it is the youth who mix faiths, but you find that if an old person decides ’this is my faith and I want to follow this faith.’ he will follow it and stick to it and you cannot remove him from there.’ 18
  • 19. Conceptual pathway: 19
  • 20. Discussion & Implications • Key findings: HOPE Lack of understanding • Implications: Exclusion/Isolation. • Recommendations for training for faith based agencies working in this area. • Next steps: – Feedback & APHRC Briefing Paper – Further site visit 20
  • 21. 21 How could faith-based agencies in the slums better meet the needs of older people?
  • 22. 22 Acknowledgement
  • 23. References • Amuyunzu-Nyamongo, M., and Ezeh, A. C. (2005) 'A Qualitative Assessment of Support Mechanisms in Informal Settlements of Nairobi, Kenya', Journal of Poverty, 9: 3, 89 — 107 • Atchley, R.C. (1997) ‘Everyday mysticism: spiritual development in later life’, Journal of Adult Development, vol 4 123-134 • Chepngeno, G and Ezeh (2007) ‘Between a rock and a Hard place: perception of Older people living in Nairobi City on return migration to rural areas.’ Global Ageing 4 p67-78 • Coleman P.G. (2005) ‘Spirituality and ageing: the health implications of religious belief and practice’ Age and Ageing 34: 318-319 • Kodzi, I ., Gyimah, S., Emina, J., and Ezeh, A.,(2010) ‘Religious involvement, social engagement and self assessed health status among elderly residents of informal neighbourhoods of Nairobi Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine doi:10.1007/s11524-010-9482-0 • Mudege, N.A, and Ezeh, A., (2007)‘Gender , aging, poverty and health: survival strategies of older men and women in Nairobi slums’ Journal of aging studies 23 245-257 • Sadler, E and Biggs S. (2006) ‘Exploring the links between spirituality and ‘successful ageing’, Journal of Social Work Practice Vol 20, 3 267-280 • UNHABITAT 2004, Urban poverty and slums, intra-city differential study of Nairobi, Global urban observatory section, 23