People affected by forced displacement and humanitarian disasters often consider that their psychosocial wellbeing and spiritual needs are as significant as their physical survival. Through supporting mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, religious communities, narratives, beliefs and practices can play an important role in supporting the abilities of individuals and communities to manage trauma and crises. … Continue reading Engaging with religion at the local level for mental health and psychosocial wellbeing following humanitarian crises
Despite international support for the 'Localisation of Aid' Agenda, working with 'the local' remains not only challenging, but also frustrating for many international organisations. As Kathleen Rutledge explains in this piece, this frustration stems from a variety of sources, from a sense that the local is frequently 'less professional', to a degree of mistrust about … Continue reading Barriers to Localisation: Making the Invisible Visible
Faith plays a crucial role for many displaced people, providing spiritual sanctuary in contexts of overarching insecurity. Whether this comes in the form of organised, local level faith groups - such as those that may gather in mosques or churches - or in the stories and ceremonies of faith-based practices, faith can enable spiritual resilience … Continue reading In God We Trust: Faith communities as an asset to refugee youth in the United States
Religious tensions between diverse refugee communities in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon present challenges to those affected by displacement, exposing some to faith-based discrimination. In other instances, (perceived) markers of religious identity expose refugees to discrimination, both from state officials, and members of the host community too. However, as Kat Eghdamian (UCL) argues in this piece (originally … Continue reading How to Overcome Religious Prejudice among Refugees
Attempts to localise humanitarian responses have resulted in a growing awareness on the part of international actors of the opportunities that come from working with local faith communities (as explored on Refugee Hosts here, here and here). However, as Estella Carpi argues, there is a need to reflect on local contexts to ensure that engagements with … Continue reading Does Faith-Based Aid Provision always Localise Aid?
Religion and the Promotion of Social Justice for Refugees The Refugee Hosts team is honoured to have been awarded a Bridging Voices grant by the British Council-USA (generously funded by The Henry Luce Foundation) in collaboration with four US-based colleagues affiliated with the Program on Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Humanitarian Responses at Yale University. Led by … Continue reading New Grant: Religion and the Promotion of Social Justice for Refugees
We need more nuanced evidence to help policymakers and practitioners better understand the roles that faith-based actors already play, and have the potential to play, in supporting refugees and forced migrants. Summarising existing evidence and key remaining questions presented in a policy note issued by our project partner the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & … Continue reading Seeking Evidence to Provide Protection: How Can Local Faith Communities Support Refugees?
Based on her research in Italy, in this piece Susanna Trotta argues that Italian FBOs' responses to the needs of peoples displaced around the Mediterranean are helping to counteract troubling trends in refugee status recognition, whilst also offering a model of 'replicability' capable of challenging the growing securitisation of refugee protection in the Global North. In … Continue reading Faith-Based Humanitarian Corridors to Italy: A Safe and Legal Route to Refuge
Major international agencies including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have moved towards partnering with faith-based actors to support displaced persons. Despite this, concerns – and suspicions – remain about the nature and impact of faith-based responses to displacement, often stemming from negative assumptions about the relationship between religion and gender. These assumptions … Continue reading Gender, Religion and Humanitarian Responses to Refugees
This is an advance notice that early in 2017 Queen Margaret University-Edinburgh's IGHD is likely to be recruiting a Research Fellow for work on the topic of engagement of local faith communities with protection and psychosocial programming. The researcher will work with our growing group of staff working on support of community-based humanitarian and development … Continue reading Advance Notice: Research Fellow Opening for Work on Local Faith Community Engagement