Chapter

Safety Nets

Jenny Trinitapoli and Alexander Weinreb

in Religion and AIDS in Africa

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195335941
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979080 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335941.003.0009
Safety Nets

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Throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa, publicly funded social safety nets are weak or non-existent. Religious organizations are among the only social institutions, outside the extended family, with the capacity to address community needs. This chapter looks at religious differences in contemporary caregiving in Africa, focusing on the provision of care for the sick and support for orphans. It documents how strong congregational care models combine longstanding religious traditions with preexisting extrafamilial support system and shows that such models of care are particularly strong within Christian traditions. In the arena of caregiving, distinct patterns across religious traditions are evident. Visiting sick members has become a distinctively Christian practice that is buoyed by local religious leaders. It is also positively associated with religiosity. Religious patterns in caring for the large number of orphans being left behind by AIDS-related adult mortality are less clear.

Keywords: safety net; extended families; religion; orphans; caregiving; congregational model

Chapter.  7031 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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