A Critical Evaluation Of Traditional African Family System And Contemporary Social Welfare

Nduñòde 15 (1) (2019)
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Abstract
Beyond reasonable doubt, the influence of Western culture and civilizations has enervated traditional African family systems, and their functions as providers of social welfare. Hitherto, traditional African family and clan by extension served as the plausible medium by which Africans proffered solutions to those social, economic and other existential problems found within their communities. However, measuring and evaluating the successes of the various social welfare programs organized by the family and clan was a difficult task to achieve. It seems the services rendered merely controlled the social problems but did not improve the standard of living of the victims. This paper seeks to critically analyse the traditional African family system and its role as a provider of social welfare and argues that it can complement the Western models towards holistic social integration. Thus this work adopts the theory of change as a tool for understanding how Western models of social welfare should be integrated with traditional African approaches to care for the ‘weak’ in the society. Advocating for a paradigm shift from the modern models of providing social welfare to the traditional African family and clan model is consequent upon the claim that the latter is more embracing in approach.
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