My academic research focuses on resettlement and integration of refugees in African context. For far too both in the academia and humanitarian world people have focused on resettlement and integration of refugees from African countries to Western. Given that not every refugee can be resettled and repatriation is not possible for many; how about we look at resettlement and integration of refugees from refugee camps into society of the countries where they are currently in? Also, is it possible for refugees to be part of solution process? When solutions are discussed by leaders and organizations, refugees are often nowhere to be seen. In my research; I consider refugees as agents with a role to play in the solution finding. This research looks at bottom-up approach instead of top-down.
In July of 2018, for my Masters thesis, I spent few days in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Western Uganda where I met with refugees, organizations and government officials to learn about how Uganda and its partners are supporting refugees to become self-reliance. My thesis was examining the socio-economic implications of refugees integration. The City Clerk where the settlement is located detailed for me the interactions between locals and refugees and how the town has witnessed economic activities since the arrival of refugees. There are leadership structures on both sides and joint activities which take place.
I recently started PhD at University of Ottawa where I will be looking at the role of protracted refugees in Tanzania and Kenya when it comes to being resettled and integrated into society from refugee camps. What do refugees in these countries have to offer when it comes to solution finding? Besides on the national level, are there key players on the local level which are not counted for? What are the interactions of refugees and locals? Do local leaders' view on refugees differ from national leaders? Come along with me through this journey as we find the answers to these questions and much more! If organizations and leaders are to address the ongoing refugee challenges, through my research, I focus on the role of refugees. A famous saying says, "Nothing about us without us".