Integrating Children's Savings Accounts in the Care and Support of Orphaned Adolescents in Rural Uganda

Soc Serv Rev. 2009 Sep 1;83(3):453-472. doi: 10.1086/605941.


This study examines an economic empowerment model of care and support for orphaned adolescents in rural Uganda. Under this model, 277 AIDS-orphaned youths (ages 11-17) from 15 comparable schools were randomly assigned to either the usual care, which involves provision of counseling and education-related supplies, or the experimental condition, in which participants also received matched-savings accounts. The analyses indicate that poor families in rural Uganda can and do save for their youths if provided with support and incentives. Analyses also locate statistically significant differences between youths in the experimental and control groups on attitudes toward saving, academic performance, educational aspirations, and health-related behaviors. The results suggest that savings-related interventions have a place in the care and support of orphaned youths in poor sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of such youths is steadily increasing.