YOUNG AFRICAN REFUGEES IN URBAN CONTEXT (ABIDJAN, DAKAR, GENEVA) PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS AND RESILIENCE

Théogène-Octave Gakuba

Abstract


This article explores psychosocial aspects and resilience of young African refugees in an urban context (Abidjan, Ivory-Coast, Dakar-Senegal and Geneva-Switzerland). A review of literature, study methodology, and results are presented. The sample of our study consisted of 150 young African refugees aged 18 to 30 years. To gather and analyse the data, we employed qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews with young refugees as well as with the healthcare professionals and social workers) and quantitative methods (physical and mental health questionnaires). The results of the study show that in the three countries studied, the living conditions for refugees are difficult. Indeed, the grant of refugee status requires very lengthy procedures. The precariousness of the residence permit, settling refugees in a situation of waiting, negatively affects the psychological point of view. This prevents them from working and to project in the future; which places them in uncertainty situation. Some young refugees .have mental health problems. These problems are related to their pre-migration experiences in their country of origin and the post-migration conditions experience in the host country. More specifically these problems are linked to poverty, problems of cultural adaptation and family separation. They have constant anxiety and psychological problems characterised by fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches and stomach pains.

Résumé


Cet article s’intéresse aux aspects psychosociaux et la résilience des jeunes réfugiés afrcain en milieu urbain (Abidjan-Côte d’Ivoire, Dakar-Sénégal, Genève-Suisse). Une revue de la littérature, la méthodologie et les résultats sont présentés. L’échantion était composée de 150 jeunes âgées de 18 à 30 ans. Nous avons utilisé les méthodes qualitatives (entretiens semi directifs avec les jeunes) et quantitatives (questionnaire de santé physique et mentale, questionnaire mesurant la résilience des jeunes) pour recueillir les données de l’enquête sur le terrain. Les résultats de l’étude montrent que dans les trois pays étudiés, les conditions de vie des réfugiés sont difficiles. En effet, la délivrance du statut de réfugié requiert des procédures très longues. La précarité du permis de séjour, installant les réfugiés dans une situation d’attente, les affectent négativement d’un point de vue psychologique. Cette situation les empêche de travailler et de se projeter dans l’avenir ; ce qui les place dans une certaine incertitude. Les jeunes réfugiés sont également confrontés à des difficultés d’accès à la formation et à l’emploi. Les résultats issus d’un questionnaire de santé mentale et physique et des données d’entretiens semi-directifs montrent que la majorité de ces jeunes ont des problèmes de santé mentale et physique qui sont liés à leurs expériences pré-migratoires dans le pays d’origine. Malgré les conditions de vie difficiles dans lesquelles se trouvent un grand nombre de jeunes réfugiés en Afrique et en Suisse, la plupart disposent de ressources personnelles et sociales pour faire face à cette situation. Nous proposons quelques recommandations pour promouvoir l’intégration des jeunes réfugiés en milieu urbain.

Rezumat


Acest articol se concentreaza pe aspectele psihosociale și reziliența tinerilor refugiați africani din mediul urban (Abidjan, Coasta de Fildeș, Dakar- Senegal, Geneva-Elvetia). Sunt prezentate analiza literaturii, metodologia și rezultatele. Échantionul a fost format din 150 de tineri cu vârste cuprinse între 18-30 de ani. Am folosit metode calitative (interviuri semi-structurate cu tineri) și cantitativă (chestionar de sanatate fizica si mentala, chestionar de măsurare a rezilienței tineretului) pentru a colecta date din ancheta de teren. Rezultatele studiului arată că, în cele trei țări studiate, condițiile de trai pentru refugiați sunt dificile. Într-adevăr, acordarea statutului de refugiat impune proceduri foarte lungi. Precaritatea permisului de ședere, punând refugiații într-o lingă situație de așteptare, îi afectează negativ din punct de vedere psihologic. Acest lucru îi împiedică să lucreze și să-și planifice viitorul; îi plasează în incertitudine. Refugiații tineri se confruntă, de asemenea, cu dificultăți de acces la formare și ocuparea forței de muncă. Rezultatele unui chestionar de sanatate mentala si fizica si a interviurilor semi-structurate arată că majoritatea acestor tineri au probleme de sănătate mintală și fizică, care sunt legate de experiențele lor pre-migratorii în țara de origine. În ciuda condițiile dure în care trăiesc numeroși tineri refugiați din Africa în Elveția, ei au resurse personale și sociale pentru a face față situației. Noi propunem câteva recomandări pentru integrarea tinerilor refugiați în zonele urbane.

Keywords


young African refugees; psychosocial aspects; urban context; resilience; Abidjan; Dakar; Geneva

Mots-clés


Jeunes réfugiés africains; aspects psychosociaux; milieu urbain; résilience; Abidjan; Dakar; Genève

Cuvinte cheie


refugiați africani tineri; aspecte psihosociale; reziliență; mediu urban; Abidjan; Dakar; Geneva

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