Family of origin refers to the immediate family one is born or adopted into. Family instills morals and values and shapes the character of the members. Moreover, a family has a lot of influence not only on what we learn and practice but also on how we develop and relate with others in society. The role of the family is crucial in the development of young people as it provides the initial arena within which the needs of the individual and the requisites of the social structure are confronted (Misati 2). The alias for the elderly person selected for this study is Jacob Nzembe from Kenya, Africa. He was born in Western Kenya to a family of 9; 5 brothers, 2 sisters, and the parents. Since he was born, his family has been practicing agriculture, and when he became of age, he married his first wife and was allocated a portion of land by his parents, as the tradition of the place requires. He has gone on to marry three other women, as prescribed by his tradition. He currently has 14 children, with the number likely to increase with time. Agriculture is the main source of income and food for his household.
The social and economic conditions of an individual in society can affect his/her health. People’s dispensable income determines economic and social conditions. This is because, the more money people have to spend, the better their living and health conditions. Every employer in Kenya is required to register with the National Social Security Funds (NSSF), a program aimed at promoting the welfare of the people while protecting against social and economic equities. Employers remit the contribution of employees to NSSF; this applies to Jacob Nzembe, who has 11 employees as well. None of the income of the household comes from social service.
The combined impact of the local and complex phenomenon of globalization has been shaping the socio-economic and cultural environments, leading to the transformations of major social institutions, with that of the family becoming the most affected and the cultural norms, socialization processes, and values also being affected (Misati 2).
Clinical Review of the Household
Jacob Nzembe feels that his family has good health. He explained why he thought so by saying, “… we use traditional herbs and tree barks to treat diseases, and we have a team of specialists who specialize in traditional healing methods, while combining those methods with the modern world health practices and innovations”. Moreover, the male children underwent circumcision upon reaching eight years old. This rite of passage was of great health and educational significance since it opened the door into the mysteries of life and enabled the males to not only learn co-operation, endurance, courage, communal living, but also tolerance and the secrets and mysteries of man – woman sexual relationships (Misati 4).
I went on to ask two of Jacob’s wives on the subject of health, and both remarked that they are of good health.
The main activity practiced by Jacob Nzembe and his household is agriculture. The household owns 5 acres of land in the Western region of Kenya, where they practice mixed farming, which is labor-intensive. On his farm, Nzembe has livestock such as sheep, pigs, goats, and cows. Moreover, he grows sugarcane and maize in the same 5-acre piece of land. Jacob Nzembe has a tractor, which aids in digging, and a truck for transporting farm inputs and outputs to and from his farm. Moreover, he has hired three full-time employees to provide manual labor in the field for 9 hours a day. His eight sons provide manual labor in the fields through tasks such as tilling, sowing seeds, removing weeds, and harvesting when the produce is ready. His sons consider farming a family routine and their source of livelihood, which motivates them to perform their tasks diligently and effectively. Judging by their physical conditions, the employees, together with Jacob Nzembe’s sons, are physically fit and capable of performing their tasks. On the other hand, due to tradition, women in Jacob’s household are not permitted to do physical tasks such as tilling and sowing the land. Thus, Jacob has delegated the minor tasks of animal husbandry, such as milking cows and cleaning livestock sheds to the women in his household.
An individual’s social support refers to the network of people who can provide emotional, moral, and practical support to the individual whenever required. Strong social support is important and can help to improve the health of individuals through stress reduction. Jacob has a strong social support system, which has been beneficial to him and his household; for instance, through assisting in fast decision making, though he suggests that improvements can be made. On the other hand, a weakness I noted in Jacob Nzembe’s support system is a lack of technological knowledge. Jacob and his household find the use of technology difficult. They do not have the proper training to incorporate the use of the latest technological inventions to run the farm.
Misati Akuma, Joseph. “Socio-Cultural and Family Change in Africa: Implications for Adolescent Socialization in Kisii County, South Western Kenya.” Les Cahiers d’Afrique de l’Est/The East African Review 50 (2015): 80-98.