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Crying for Our EldersAfrican Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS$
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Kristen E. Cheney

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226437408

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226437682.001.0001

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Orphanhood, Poverty, and the Post-ARV Generation

Orphanhood, Poverty, and the Post-ARV Generation

(p.87) 5 Orphanhood, Poverty, and the Post-ARV Generation
Crying for Our Elders

Kristen E. Cheney

University of Chicago Press

This chapter brings attention to the daily struggles faced by young people in contemporary Uganda, where indeed all children are affected in some way by HIV/AIDS but also by persistent structural, household-level, and/or individual poverty. While HIV/AIDS has certainly shaped the lives of the young people who became youth research assistant for this study, their life stories also demonstrate that it is primarily poverty that continues to mark their experiences, influence their choices, and impinge on their life chances. Aside from growing up in the era of HIV/AIDS, these children are also part of the ‘youth bulge’ in population that has experienced the neoliberal retreat of the state, first under global economic restructuring and later under economic austerity. These factors all intersect to create the challenges and obstacles that shape young people’s lives today, providing illustrative examples of the life trajectories of orphans and vulnerable children as well as insights into the resilience and survival strategies employed by young people throughout Africa. In the process, it also reveals how an engaged researcher can become entwined with the lives of her research subjects.

Keywords:   educational attainment, life history, longitudinal research, orphanhood, precariousness, poverty, resilience, survival strategies, youth bulge

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