Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 819–842

Family Contexts and Schooling Disruption among Orphans in Post-Genocide Rwanda


DOI: 10.1007/s11113-009-9167-0

Cite this article as:
Thomas, K.J.A. Popul Res Policy Rev (2010) 29: 819. doi:10.1007/s11113-009-9167-0


This study examines the relationship between orphan status and schooling disruption in post-genocide Rwanda. The results indicate that while non-orphans have more favorable schooling outcomes in two-parent than in single-parent families, the reverse is true among Rwandan orphans. In single-mother households, paternal orphans, i.e. orphans with only a living mother, have better outcomes than their orphan and non-orphan counterparts. In contrast, paternal orphans have worse outcomes than other children in two-parent households, especially in households headed by males. Maternal orphans are more likely to experience schooling disruptions than non-orphans regardless of family structure. The maternal-orphan disadvantage is nevertheless greater in female-headed than in male-headed households. As expected, non-related orphans are more disadvantaged than orphans related to their household heads. However, non-related orphans have a greater disadvantage in two-parent than in single-parent households. The results also suggest that within households, the provision of childcare to children below schooling age is an impediment to orphan’s schooling. These impediments are, however, greater for double-orphans than paternal or maternal orphans.



Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of African and African American Studies and SociologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA