Narratives of Hope? Displacement Narratives of Liberian Refugee Women and Children in the Gomoa-Budumburam Refugee Camp in Ghana.
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The refugee problem is a canker in contemporary human affairs without the ‘limboness’ that protractedness adds to it. Yet many refugee situations, especially in Africa, become forgotten emergencies as women assume new roles both at the family and community level, whilst children are born and bred in camps which were meant to be temporary in the first place. This study explores the life situation of Liberian Refugee Women and Children at the Gomoa Budumburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana. It examines the livelihood means they employ as a means of coping, emphasisng their security and educational concerns. It touches on the challenges faced by the camp children or the youth a they strive to deal with their situation and assign meaning to their lives. Actor-oriented theories help conceptualise ways in which the refugees display agency in mediating the structures that enable them and/or constrain them in their protracted displacement. In view of the need to find solutions to the refugee problem, the three proposed solutions are examined in the light of the reasons informing refugees’ choice of one solution over the other. The concepts of Space and Place help analyse the realities of the solutions available vis-à-vis the preferred choice of the refugees. Highlighting the importance of hearing refugees’ voice on problems and solutions they consider viable in their situation, a qualitative methodological approach is employed. This is complemented by observations, focus group discussions, informal conversations as well as secondary data sources. The analysis relates the data collected to the outlined objectives, research questions and theories. It brings to the fore the resourcefulness displayed by the refugees as they employ various strategies to cope on a short and long term basis. The study has also revealed the refugees’ ideas about “home” as where one makes it, rather than a nostalgic country of origin to which one must return for life to be complete. (S) GBV has been highlighted as an area needing more attention than that accorded it presently if the causes of women’s vulnerabilities are to be addressed in a wholesome way. Suggestions have been made based on refugees’ recommendation as well as that of the organizations in place and the researcher’s.