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Violence, Suffering and Support: Congolese Forced Migrants’ Experiences of Psychosocial Services in Johannesburg

  • Dostin LakikaEmail author
  • Peter Kankonde
  • Annemiek Richters
Chapter
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 24)

Abstract

Millions of Congolese have been exposed to protracted wars, civil conflicts, multiple predatory and authoritarian regimes and state failure in the DRC. Those Congolese who migrated to South Africa to find safety have, similar to other African migrants in South Africa, not received a smooth reception and are often exposed to multiple forms of violence. The chapter describes and analyses the trajectories migrants go through to find help in coping with their suffering due to their traumatic experiences in the country of origin and in the host county. More specifically, it compares the effectiveness of the support services available for migrants as perceived by migrants themselves. Attention is given to the counselling services offered by an NGO (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation or CSVR) and how migrants who consult this service value and compare it to other services. It was found that that respondents did not always know the purpose of counselling. They attended sessions primarily with the hope that by doing so they could find ways out of their socio-economic plights and receive referrals to urgently needed medical services. In their search of support, migrants did not choose where to go and the kind of support to access, but were instead navigated through different support structures by a network of NGOs. Religion played a significant role in coping with stressful living conditions and counselling became helpful in cases where CSVR’s counsellors incorporated their clients’ religious beliefs into their approach. This study suggests a holistic counselling approach which includes social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of their clients’ suffering and adapts to the beliefs of those who access it.

Keywords

Host Country Traumatic Event Asylum Seeker Counselling Service Counselling Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dostin Lakika
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Kankonde
    • 1
  • Annemiek Richters
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Primary CareLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Amsterdam School for Social Science ResearchUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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