Safeguarding inheritance and enhancing the resilience of orphaned young people living in child- and youth-headed households in Tanzania and Uganda
Evans, R. (2012) Safeguarding inheritance and enhancing the resilience of orphaned young people living in child- and youth-headed households in Tanzania and Uganda. African Journal of AIDS Research, 11 (3). pp. 177-189. ISSN 1608-5906
Official URL: http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajar/article/view/8...
This paper explores the resilience of orphaned young people in safeguarding the physical assets (land and property) that they inherited from their parents and in sustaining their households without a co-resident adult relative. Drawing on the concept of resilience and the sustainable livelihoods framework, this paper analyses the findings of an exploratory study conducted with 15 orphaned young people heading households,18 of their siblings and 39 NGO workers and community members in Tanzania and Uganda. The research suggests that inherited land and property represent key determining factors in the formation and viability of child- and youth-headed households in both rural and urban areas. Despite experiences of stigma and marginalisation in the community, social networks were crucial in enabling young people to protect themselves and their property, in providing access to material and emotional resources and in enhancing their skills and capabilities to develop sustainable livelihoods. Support for child- and youth-headed households needs to recognise young people's agency and adopt a holistic approach to their lives that analyses the physical assets, material resources, human and social capital available to the household, as well as individual young people's wellbeing, outlook and aspirations. Alongside cash transfers and material support, youth-led collective mobilisation that is sustained over time may also help to build resilience and foster more supportive social environments that challenge property grabbing and the stigmatisation of child- and youth-headed households.