Grandmothers are among the most vulnerable women that we serve. In many communities, grandmothers are found to be taking care of grandchildren who are left behind by their parents. However what factors make grandmothers take care of their grandchildren despite their old age, and where are the fathers and mothers of these children?
There are many factors which lead to the grandmothers taking care of their grandchildren and let us explore some here; the first factor is because of the rampant HIV/AIDS, many youthful parents get infected and die at an early age. When it comes to who should take responsibility of supporting the children, no one in the community or the relatives is willing to take on the burden of caring for the children but because the grandmothers are known to be passionate and love their grandchildren, they end up taking on the full responsibility of caring for the children. With the responsibility comes sending the children to school, providing daily food, bedding and all the other basic needs.
Some parents of the children choose to leave the children with their grandmothers so as to find a job and earn. As they try to find an income, the parents leave the children with their grandmothers because most grandmothers are aged, they are not mobile. They can be trusted for taking care of the children. However as the parents go to find a job, in most case they fail to find one and decide to stay away. During such time, the parents of the children do not sent any support to the grandmothers to support the children and thus the grandmothers end up taking on full responsibility of caring for the children.
Lastly, grandmothers end up caring for numerous grandchildren because of parent negligence of the children most time resulting from family disintegration. When a family break up happens, the children suffer; both the parents go different ways leaving the children with the grandmothers. We have met many grandmothers who do not know the way about of the parents but are taking care of their grandchildren.
Supporting the grandmothers ensures that children are fed; limit the number of would be street children and lessens the burden of the grandmothers of providing for the children since she has an income generating activity.