Healing from the horror of war : a study of a post-conflict psychosocial program for refugees in Uganda : a research report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Uganda, a landlocked African nation of 41 million people, currently hosts 1.1 million refugees from surrounding nations including South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. Many of these refugees have suffered significant psychological trauma as a result of their conflict experiences and through the process of fleeing from their homes and communities.
Tutapona is a non-profit organisation that provides group based psychosocial trauma rehabilitation support among war affected populations. This research report examines the effectiveness of the ‘Grow’ program at empowering refugees. The study was carried out in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Western Uganda, which is home to 64,000 people from the DRC. Four refugees who had attended Tutapona’s Grow program were interviewed in depth about their experience and subsequent decisions to ascertain the extent to which empowerment had taken place.
The research report concludes that Tutapona’s Grow program has achieved a high degree of success at empowering refugees, especially on the individual and relational levels. More broadly, it suggests that psychosocial interventions in post- conflict settings should be more highly prioritized by humanitarian and development actors.