Empowerment by hope : a phenomenological study on the health and wellbeing of African refugee migrants

Msabah, Anzuruni Barnabé (2016-03-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Ours is a century of migration. It has become more necessary for people to migrate than ever before in human history due to a variety of reasons including political instability and economic opportunities. The rate at which migration is increasing, nevertheless, poses serious challenges to various countries. South Africa is not immune. However, not all migrants migrate at will. For some, migration suggests recreation or acceptance of a job offer; but for others, it is a dangerous movement. It is forced and could mean permanent expulsion from home. Such is the case for refugee migrants. Theirs is a case of inconvenience; a case of expulsion from their territorial space and exclusion from socio-economic ownership. Although the end of the refugee migration is somewhat beneficial to an émigré for the reason that, in such a case, life is spared from various forms of persecution, the process of migration is itself detrimental since it involves serious challenges that affect refugees’ health and wellbeing. This study aims to encourage a paradigm shift in Theology and Development, proposing that hope and empowerment are an inseparable binary with affective dimensions on being and belonging. In this way, putting hope into practice is fundamentally an asset for improved wellbeing and significant in the process of recovery from illness. The study begins with a review of existing literature by six prominent scholars from various academic fields who have dealt intensively with hope. This is then followed by a discussion and analysis of the relationship between hope and empowerment in the development discourse within the African context. Finally, qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews with key informants, and through focus group discussions with representatives of the refugee community in Cape Town is presented and analysed in view of understanding empowerment by hope. In addition to being an indicator of human dignity, the findings of this research indicate that, amongst other things, hope is a practical tool for holistic development. In the end, recommendations that collate hope and empowerment are proposed in order to assist role players such as faith communities, researchers and policymakers in developing appropriate responses for managing the refugee phenomenon, particularly as it relates to the health and wellbeing of refugee migrants.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die huidige, is ‘n eeu van migrasie. Weens ‘n verskeidenheid redes, waaronder politieke onstabiliteit en ekonomiese geleenthede, word mense meer as ooit vantevore in die geskiedenis van die mens, genoodsaak om te migreer. Die trant waarteen migrasie toeneem skep dus ernstige uitdagings aan verskeie lande. Suid-Afrika is nie immuun teen hierdie verskynsel nie. Verder, nie alle migrante migreer egter uit vrye wil nie. Vir sommige beteken migrasie vernuwing of die aanvaarding van werksgeleenthede, maar vir ander is migrasie ‘n gevaarlike beweging. Migrasie is dan gedwonge en kan permanente uitsetting uit hul tuiste beteken, soos in die geval van vlugteling-migrante. Hierdie tipe migrasie veroorsaak vir vlugtelinge groot ongemak, aangesien dit gepaard gaan met verlies van hul lewensruimte en uitsluiting uit sosio-ekonomiese eienaarskap. Alhoewel die uiteinde van migrasie in ‘n mate voordeel vir die vlugteling-migrant inhou, byvoorbeeld dat sy/haar lewe gespaar word van verskeie vorme van vervolging, is die proses van migrasie inherent afbrekend aangesien dit ernstige uitdagings meebring wat die vlugteling se gesondheid en welstand bedreig. Moedig die huidige studie ‘n paradigma skuif in die Teologie en Ontwikkeling aan deur voor te stel dat hoop en bemagtiging ‘n onlosmaaklike skakelpaar met affektiewe dimensies van “wees” [being] en “behoort” [belonging] is. Aldus gesien, is hoop wat omgeskakel word tot praktyk, fundamenteel tot voordeel vir die verbeterde welstand van migrante en dra dit merkbaar by tot die herstelproses. Die studie begin deur ‘n oorsig van bestaande vakliteratuur deur ses prominente kundiges vanuit ‘n reeks akademiese areas, wie intensief hoop bestudeer het. Dit word opgevolg deur ‘n bespreking en analiese van die verhouding tussen hoop en bemagtiging in die ontwikkelingsdiskoers binne die konteks van Afrika. Kwalitatiewe data wat versamel is deur semi-gestrukturede onderhoude met sleutel informante asook fokusgroep besprekings met verteenwoordigers van die vlugteling-gemeenskappe in Kaapstad, word dan aangebied en geanaliseer na aanleiding van die begrip van bemagtiging deur hoop. Die bevindings van hierdie navorsing voer aan dat hoop nie net alleenlik ‘n aanduider van menswaardigheid is nie, maar hoop is ook ‘n praktiese instrument vir holistiese ontwikkeling. Laastens, aanbevelings wat hoop en bemagtiging voortdurend saambind word aangebied, ten einde rolspelers soos geloofsgemeenskappe, navorsers en beleidmakers te ondersteun in die ontwikkeling van toepaslike optredes om die vlugteling verskynsel te bestuur, veral met betrekking tot hoe dit die gesondheid en welstand van vlugteling-migrante raak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98666
This item appears in the following collections: