Wanjiku Kaime

Universitetslektor|Senior Lecturer

  • Professional title: Senior Lecturer
  • Department: Department of Psychology and Social Work (PSO)
  • Telephone: +46 (0)10-1427994
  • Email: wanjiku.kaime@miun.se
  • Location: Östersund
  • Employee in the subject: Social Work

Background

Wanjiku Kaime (formerly Kaime-Atterhög)

I am a Kenyan-Swedish senior researcher and lecturer at the Department of Psychology and Social Work at Mid Sweden University. I completed my PhD in Medical Science (International Health) in 2012 at Uppsala University in Sweden with an emphasis on the (re)habilitation and (re)integration of "street children" and capacity building of their social and health caregivers. In the course of my doctoral research, I developed the House of Plenty (re)habilitation Home for and together with the 12 children participating in my research as well as a training programme for their social and health care providers. The Home expanded to include vocational training institutes for vulnerable children and youth in Kenya (2012) and Uganda (2015) - www.houseofplenty.se - and more than 1500 vulnerable children and youth have received training. The training programme became an Advanced Sida International Training Programme for Caregivers of Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances targeting 13 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and South-East Asia (2006-2012). The 150+ trained care providers have continued to apply my models in their work through their caregivers' network, ANoCC, where I serve as the Patron as well as mentor some of the members in their journey to improve the lives of vulnerable children nationally and regionally - www.anocc-global.org.

Across my research, my aim is to study, understand and untangle the complex contributing, intervening and aggravating factors that interact to produce, exacerbate or mitigate vulnerability and disadvantage in children and youth one community at a time and ultimately, one individual at a time. The data are collected within a safe and enabling environment created together with the stakeholders and affected individuals and groups. With the acquired knowledge, we then design, co-create, implement and evaluate customised actions that bring about the desired change in the study populations, and of smaller groups within them.

This has entailed creating new models of meeting, engaging and connecting with vulnerable and hard-to-reach individuals and groups and involving them in their own development processes, which results in a transformed life from the margins to the mainstream of society. It has also entailed improving the capacities of local caregivers to equip them with the tools to provide adequate and quality social and health care services. As a result, I have devised my own vulnerability framework to provide a structure for understanding and analysing the complex interrelated factors systematically as well as a social innovation model, trust building model and (re)search, (re)habilitation and (re)integration model to provide clear sequence of actions needed to build trust and bring about desired change. I have also developed a curriculum for training social and health care providers of vulnerable children. The framework and models have been used within my projects and by students in Africa, Asia and Sweden. The vulnerability model has been adapted and used to understand and analyse factors related to sexual exploitation in six Asian countries by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) as well as in four European countries in a project funded by the European Commission.

My research and social innovations bridge theory and practice and demonstrate models for Governments, Civil Society, Development Cooperations and communities to apply in a coordinated manner to bring about the desired change that goes beyond the transition to sustainable livelihoods of the affected children and youth but also of their families and communities.


ONGOING PROJECTS

1. From the Margins of Society to Citizens: (Re)integration journeys of marginalized children and young people in Kenya
2. A Pathway to Employment and University Education for Marginalized Youth in Eastern Africa: The House of Plenty Vocational Training Model
3. Preventive care and health education to keep a resource-poor and vulnerable population safe from COVID-19 in Kenya and Uganda
4. Redefining Care for Young Persons Exiting Prostitution in Sweden
5. From Emergency Support in Sweden to Community-Based Interventions for Romanian Beggars from Pittesti


The page was updated 10/13/2021