Assets and educational outcomes: Child Development Accounts (CDAs) for orphaned children in Uganda
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 24 of the 25 countries with the world's highest levels of HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. The consequences of this pandemic have resulted in thousands of children being orphaned throughout the continent. With extended families being overwhelmed by the care of these children, many are left with very few opportunities to provide a future for themselves. Education is an orphan's best hope to rise above these circumstances. In Uganda, Africa, a region hard hit by HIV/AIDS, primary school is free, but children attending secondary school are charged tuition, which severely limits orphans' opportunities to attend. This paper describes a family asset-based intervention research project in Uganda that provides orphans with matched savings accounts known as Child Development Accounts (CDAs) to help them save money to pay for secondary school. Results showed that the children with CDAs not only saved, but were also found to have more positive changes in their future educational plans and a higher level of confidence in their plans than their counterparts in the comparison group who did not have CDAs. These results could have a major impact on future policy and program initiatives for children in Uganda and other developing nations.
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