A Qualitative Study of an Indigenous Faith-Based Distributive Justice Program in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

  • David Boan World Evangelical Alliance
  • Benjamin Andrews Wheaton College
  • Kalen Drake Sanders Wheaton College
  • Daniel Martinson Wheaton College
  • Elizabeth Loewer Wheaton College
  • Jamie Aten Wheaton College
Keywords: refugee, justice, faith, distributive justice, Kenya

Abstract

Justice takes many forms, such as social justice (equitable human rights), procedural justice (fair process, particularly in resolution of disputes), distributive justice (equitable distribution) and more.  Distributive justice is an important theme in international community psychology, overlapping with concepts of peace, equity, compassion, and more.  Refugees, who often experience pervasive injustice, offer insights into justice when they create a just community.  The United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) is a network of churches in Kakuma Refugee Camp (Kenya) and the surrounding Turkana community founded in 1996 by refugees and people from the local Turkana community. The URHC addressed ongoing conflict and distrust in the camp by establishing procedural and distributive justice.  This qualitative study described the methods used by the URHC to restore justice and reduce conflict in the camp and build sustainable capacity.  The project team interviewed 23 URHC members and leaders and identified eight themes describing URHC strategies. We discuss each theme and the network’s work as examples of applied distributive and procedural justice. We conclude by highlighting several implications, program impact, and recommendations for future research.

Author Biographies

David Boan, World Evangelical Alliance

PhD. Adjunct Professor, Wheaton College and Director of Humanitarian Advocacy & Service, WEA

Benjamin Andrews, Wheaton College

MA, PsyD, Wheaton College 

Kalen Drake Sanders, Wheaton College

MA, PsyD, Wheaton College 

Daniel Martinson, Wheaton College

MA, PsyD, Wheaton College 

Jamie Aten, Wheaton College

PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership at Wheaton College

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Published
2018-09-01