Uganda is a host to over 1.4 million refugees, these figures place it as Africa’s leading country for hosting these communities of people. Rhino Camp can be found within the Arua District in the northeast of the country. A country that has been recognised as having ‘the most progressive refugee policies in Africa’
Allison Lemeri in an article titled Refugees and Host Community Agree to Harmonious Coexistence, reveals how ‘Young refugees need proper counselling because they are traumatized by the conflict back home, therefore, they need psychosocial healing and rehabilitation….Refugees and local leaders should work hard in restoring hope for young people and turn them to be peacemakers.’
We hope MyInform will directly improve the referrals needed by the young as per the article as well as being a place where refugees of every language can express their concerns and know that those concerns and needs will be delivered directly to the support providers in question. We look forward to developing and deploying MyInform with CDC and CEDED.
Recently the Community Development Centre (CDC) collaborated with Centre for Democracy and Development (CEDED) to create a forum that brought participants from host communities together with refugees to discuss cooperation.The forum aimed to ‘increase local community knowledge on local conflict mapping, conflict resolution and peace continuation in order to inculcate peace and reconciliation among locals and refugee communities in the region,‘
Within The World Migration Report 2018, there is a particular focus on understanding migration journeys from migrants perspectives. Essentially, it explores how central to any discussion on migration are the people who migrate. How important it is to understand who they are why they migrate and how they migrate.
Considering these three important issues contributes to a better understanding of the circumstances that people find themselves in and the limitations that they face when they migrate, from their perspective. The insiders perspective is valued by organisations such as the Community Development Centre (CDC) and Centre for Democracy and Development (CEDED).
Human migration is not new, it is an age-old phenomenon. The conditions that directly affect the flow of migration over time are constantly changing. This evolution is affected by many factors such as the increased advancement in ‘transnational connectivity and telecommunications’ WMR 2018. This facilitates a ‘greater sense of our shared humanity that extends beyond culture, creed or wealth, just as we are more able to see and (virtually) experience the personal costs of war, famine and abject poverty’.WMR 2018
Living with trauma
People of all ages are vulnerable to experiencing abuse, exploitation and trauma during their journeys. Investigative journalists and international organisations regularly share migrants stories. Stories presented in particular ways, where details have been chosen to be included and excluded. Common themes emerge in refugee narratives such as trauma, which can result from life-threatening experiences.
Surviving these type of experiences can leave people with a vast array of symptoms that they live with on a daily basis. Memories, thoughts, and feelings that are associated with a traumatic event can be stimulated in people and involuntarily intrude in their lives. These intrusive symptoms can cause enormous psychological and often physiological distress.
Surviving trauma can leave people with symptoms that directly affect their interest in participating in social activities in settlements. Stress from trauma can result in people displaying ‘hypervigilance, irritability, self-destructive behaviour, an exaggerated startle response, poor concentration, or sleep difficulties. ‘ as explored by Kandah, C. C. (2017) in The use of peer counselors and narrative exposure therapy with African refugees and Ugandan nationals.