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How orphaned primary school pupils experience disenfranchised grief: case study of akithi division, tigania district, Kenya

Author: 
John M. Kobia and Kaberia A. Kanini
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Children are victims of disenfranchised grief because of their age factor and the circumstances of some deaths (e.g. AIDS related deaths, suicide, criminal offences). The school is the child’s second home and thus an important grieving ground for the bereaved child. The school community interacts with the bereaved child, hence it has a role to play in the child’s grief process. At the same time, mourning process is necessary for one to cope with bereavement. During the mourning process children have grieving needs. Literature review indicates that children have a special attachment to their parents who are their main attachment figures. In Kenya, the Guidance and Counselling unit in schools is expected to take care of children’s grieving needs. Disenfranchised grief is a counselling issue children deal with. This study sought information from the bereaved children in order to establish the nature of disenfranchised grief in Kenya and how orphaned primary school pupils experience it. The study was carried out in Akithi Division, Tigania District, Kenya. Ex-post facto design was used. The study population was primary school children who had lost one or both parents as well as the Teacher Counsellors. Data was collected through questionnaires which included sentence completion and an interview schedule. The data was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively mainly through themes, categories and patterns derived through available theories and other sources. The study found out that there was minimal grief counselling that was going on in schools. The study recommended the introduction of grief education to all stakeholders. This would help maximize the sources of support for the bereaved children while enfranchising the grief already experienced by the orphaned pupils.

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