Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Assessing the Welfare of Orphans in Rwanda: Poverty, Work, Schooling, and Health

Siaens, Corinne and Subbarao, K. and Wodon, Quentin (2006): Assessing the Welfare of Orphans in Rwanda: Poverty, Work, Schooling, and Health. Published in: Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (edited by Mark Blackden and Quentin Wodon, World Bank Working Paper) (January 2006): pp. 135-152.


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One of the aspects of the orphan crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa relates to time use, namely where orphans end up living and what they spend their time doing in their new household of adoption. While some orphans are welcomed in centres and institutions, many live with relatives or other members of their communities, and others are welcomed by families which are not directly related to them. Orphans are in many ways better off when welcomed by relatives or other families than when living by themselves or in institutions, but there are also concerns that the orphans (and especially girls) that are welcomed in some families may be required to provide more help for the domestic tasks to be performed, with the resulting time pressure in terms of workload preventing them from benefitting from the same opportunities in education and other aspects of their development as other children. The objective of this paper is to conduct preliminary work to test this assumption using recent household survey data from Rwanda, with an attention not only to traditional variables of interest such as school enrollment, child labor and time use, but also with an eye to assessing other dimensions of the children’s welfare.

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