Kids Coping in Congo

  • Claudia SeymourEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 11)


This chapter discusses resilience and capacities for coping among young people in the highly violent context of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It synthesizes and draws upon the psychological resilience literature and uses this to elaborate a three-part resilience framework for examining how young people cope with the adversities and constraints of entrenched military and structural violence. Based on fieldwork conducted in North and South Kivu in 2010 and 2011, the chapter presents narratives offered by three young people who explain their daily challenges of survival and development and who describe the coping mechanisms they rely upon. The concept of la débrouille, or “finding one’s way,” is described as a common coping approach in the DRC. The chapter concludes by arguing that young people’s capacity to effectively cope with the constraints imposed by violence should not be confused with resilience and should even be considered as part of the social and political processes which contribute to perpetuating the structures of violence which young people in the DRC are so busy trying to survive.


Agency Coping Democratic Republic of the Congo La débrouille Resilience Violence War Young people 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Development StudiesUniversity of London, School of Oriental and African StudiesLondonUK

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