PhD ceremony: Ms. M. Angucia, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Broken citizenship: formerly abducted children and their reintegration in northern Uganda
Promotor(s): prof. I. Hutter, prof. P. Kayandago
Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences
This study deals with social reintegration of formerly abducted children in northern Uganda. More specifically it focuses on the experiences of abducted children in Acholi land and the different types of reintegration processes for these war-affected children. The thesis deals with a very current and critical issue confronting many post-war nations in Africa, and elsewhere, and makes an effort to move beyond simplistic analysis of social reintegration by looking at the interface of reintegration and the rebuilding of citizenship. The main research question of the research was: What are the experiences of formerly abducted children and how could they be successfully reintegrated in their communities?
A qualitative action research methodology was used in data collection and analysis. A spectrum of methods was used; life histories, focus group discussions, in-(depth)-terviews, feed back meetings and a workshop. Altogether 255 participants were involved in this action focused research to inform, validate and make suggestions for improvement of reintegration practices in northern Uganda.
Children were abducted from familiar family environment and taken into LRA camps. The abductions left an indelible mark on their memory. The story of each formerly abducted child is different. Each child has an invisible personal ‘inner story’ that will never be told or heard in words. Their story reveals the resilience of the human spirit and their individual heroism. Military, political, humanitarian and community based reintegration practices take place to rebuild the children’s citizenship. Persisting reintegration problems can be collaboratively addressed with the participation of the community.
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