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A survey in the Rakai District in 1989 put the number of orphans at 25,000; by 1991 a population census counted 44,000, a growth the author attributes to the AIDS pandemic. The Child Social Care Project (CSCP) in Rakai works with widows and orphans to address their property rights, seeking to reduce the vulnerability of women and children under both customary and statutory law. The author discusses the work of the Project, and advocates continued processes of education and sensitisation to change attitudes, accompanied by legal reform. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development for Health.

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