Enhancing the Economic, Health, and Social Capabilities of Highly Vulnerable Youth

Last updated November 2009

Author:
Kelly Hallman

Abstract:
Young people in South Africa face a high risk of HIV, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, and unemployment, and are further disadvantaged by extreme conditions of poverty and the actual or potential loss of one or both parents to HIV. The risk factors these adolescents face are likely to have persistent effects and impact negatively upon their reproductive health, health-related quality of life, and life expectancy, as well as on future marriage prospects, labor force participation and accumulation of savings and other assets. Studies have found that the problems young people experience are especially acute in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The common thread tying together economic disadvantage with HIV and reproductive health risks is the need to increase young people’s knowledge and skills and to build their social networks. This research aims to help fill these gaps by addressing the specific condition of young people’s lives and testing an intervention that includes strategies to help young people build economic assets and protect themselves against HIV and early pregnancy.

Contact Information:
Kelly Hallman, khallman@popcouncil.org, Population Council.