Protection for the lifecourse: Enhancing health, social and economic capabilities of highly vulnerable adolescents
Kelly Hallman, Population Council
Eva Roca, Population Council
Differences in protective and risk factors between groups of girls and boys early in life and at criticial development stages result in disparities in health, social, and economic outcomes during adulthood. Adolescence is a particularly critical period that can set the stage for enhancing or diminishing well-being during the subsequent life stages. This paper presents baseline findings from an intervention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa randomized at the school level. Its goal is to provide vulnerable young people residing in poor HIV/AIDS-affected communities with increased capabilities for building health, social and economic assets of their lifecourse. The strategic skills proposed are to help offer protective strategies against HIV and early pregnancy and build social and economic assets. In South Africa, socially and economically disadvantaged young people, especially females, are at the highest risk for orphanhood, HIV, early pregnancy and parenthood, premature school leaving and severe lack of livelihood opportunities.