The contribution of social assistance grant for empowerment program on the welfare of older persons: A case study of Mpigi town council Mpigi district.
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This study was conducted for a period of about two months in Mpigi Town Council, Mpigi district. It employed a case study research design and focused on comprehensive gathering of more information on the contribution of the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment program (SAGE) on the welfare of the elderly people. The focus was mainly on the contribution of the program on fulfilment of basic needs, health status and feeding pattern, livelihood security, social life and economic opportunities. The challenges that hinder successful intervention and satisfaction from the beneficiaries were also captured during research. The study participants were the SAGE beneficiaries (primary respondents) and the key informants who included the District community Development officer, Focal person of the program, Community Development officer for Mpigi town, chairperson for elder persons at the district level and parish chief (secondary respondents). Data was collected using a qualitative approach and here the key informant interview guide and in-depth personal interview guide were used during the process of data collection. Purposive and convenience sampling techniques guided the procedure of selecting respondents for the study. The intended sample size was primarily twenty (25) respondents; however, the researcher managed to reach to only 21 respondents. Beneficiaries shared on how SAGE program has improved their welfare in terms of access to basic needs for example some beneficiaries said they use the grant to buy things like food (posho, rice, beans, cassava), salt, soap, sugar among others. Others shared how the grant has improved on their health status for example are now able to access medical services, others also shared how their feeding pattern improved and this was examined in terms of what food they eat and how many times they eat in a day. A few beneficiaries also shared how the grant has enabled them to engage in economic and social activities. Lastly the study findings also focused on unveiling challenges that sometimes hinder successful intervention, and recommendations on both the side of beneficiaries and stake holders responsible for the implementation of the program were also captured during the research. The program should be consistent on how often they pay the beneficiaries to prevent most of them from borrowing expecting money that does not come in that time. To add the money given is too little for them to respond to their basics and therefore policy makers should think of other programs like medical insurance responding to particularly health status of these older persons. This is because almost every older person interviewed had a combination of more than four diseases. This means that the money that would be used to buy basics like food could be spent on only medication.