Children's Property and Inheritance Rights in the Context of HIV and AIDS - A documentation of children’s experiences in Zambia and Kenya

HIV/AIDS Programme
Working Paper
3


Children's Property and Inheritance Rights
in the Context of HIV and AIDS

A documentation of children’s experiences in Zambia and Kenya

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 2007



ABSTRACT

The present paper is based on field research conducted by two grassroots organizations – CINDI-Kitwe in Zambia and GROOTS Kenya in Kenya. The fieldwork was undertaken to map out and document cases of property grabbing from children, in particular those who became orphans due to AIDS.

Many of the grassroots organizations in Southern and East Africa currently engaged in innovative activities are working closely with the people they are assisting in local communities. Yet, their work is rarely documented. This study is intended to explore methods which grassroots organizations use or can use to document their work. The study adopted a creative and unique manner of investigating children’s issues, as it was decided that in order to document and evaluate the nature, magnitude and intensity of property grabbing in Kenya and Zambia, the two grassroots organizations would work directly with orphans and vulnerable children, not only to prepare the workplan but also to conduct the documentation exercise, i.e. by engaging the same children as data collectors. Such an approach was taken, partly to fulfill the wishes of the children to participate in the processes that investigate or address their needs.

This exercise is therefore a first step towards the development of a methodology and guidelines to be used at the grassroots-level by other organizations engaged in property grabbing issues. Although the research was carried out by non-professional researchers, the findings are still relevant and valid: such findings cannot be generalized but they illustrate the situation of the orphans in the areas where the study was conducted and the impact that HIV and AIDS have on their property rights and livelihoods. It is hoped that the work of CINDI-Kitwe and GROOTS Kenya will inspire other organizations involved in similar activities.

 


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