The Influence of Religious Affiliation of Vulnerable Families on Their Investments and Consumption Secondary Analysis of a Program Evaluation (English version)
The article presents some of the results of a secondary analysis performed on the data collected during an evaluation carried out as part of the Family Strengthening Program run by SOS Children’s Villages in district 1 of Bucharest. The secondary analysis had other objectives than those set out for the evaluation, having a more exploratory character. As a result of the analyzed individual interviews and focus group meetings held with the program beneficiaries, a number of significant differences were found between the behavior of Protestant families and of Orthodox families. In similar circumstances (all the families included in the program were vulnerable, with several children having received the same social services provided by the organization) the Protestant families have a behavior that focuses on savings and investments in improving living conditions, whereas Orthodox families focus mainly on consumption. The Protestants defined the financial support (consisting in social vouchers that can be used exclusively for buying foodstuffs and toiletries) received from the organization as an opportunity to save on other resources and to invest in improving their living conditions. The Orthodox families perceived this support as designed to meet their basic needs, as a form of supplementing the resources allocated mainly to buying food and paying for utilities. Therefore, the former category of vulnerable families showed a genuine independence from the services provided, whereas in the case of the Orthodox families dependence on the provided services increased.
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