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The Wellbeing of Somali Refugees in Kampala: Perceived Satisfaction of their Human Needs

Moses Senkosi Balyejjusa


Although there is substantial research on the psychological wellbeing of refugees in psychology, especially in acculturation research, there is very little research assessing refugees‘ objective conditions of living. This study aims to bridge this gap by assessing the perceived satisfaction of Somali refugees‘ objective elements in Kampala, Uganda. Drawing on qualitative data from 92 Somali refugee and Ugandan participants, the paper shows that the participants assessed the perceived satisfaction of Somali refugees‘ four objective wellbeing elements (peace and security, housing, education and employment). These objective elements can be seen to represent human needs when analysed in relation to Doyal and Gough‘s (1991) theory of human need, particularly the intermediate needs. The study participants perceived most Somali refugees as having adequate satisfaction to these objective elements. In this paper I argue that this is the case because of the non-discriminatory and accepting host environment, Somali refugees‘ financial resources and the culture of social support. These are instrumentally important in promoting Somali refugees‘ wellbeing since they guarantee adequate satisfaction of the human needs of Somali refugees.

Key words · Refugees · Wellbeing · Human needs · Somali refugees · Human wellbeing · Host community

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eISSN: 2070-1748
print ISSN: 2070-1748