The assessment of the Psycho-Educational support available for Congolese unaccompanied refugee children living in Johannesburg.
Kalala, Georges Kamuleta
The main aim of the study was to assess the psycho-educational support available for Congolese unaccompanied refugee children living in Johannesburg. The study also sought to identify the psycho-educational needs of Congolese unaccompanied adolescent refugees living in Johannesburg. Data was collected from a sample of 20 unaccompanied refugee children from the Democratic Republic of Congo and living in Johannesburg, using interviews covering the following issues: the children`s experiences at school, the counselling and social support provided to them, and their needs. The main finding of the study indicated that children`s attitudes towards school were generally positive. In fact, they seemed to have good relationships with their teachers and peers, and the majority of them seemed to have had good relationships with their South African peers. All the respondents in this study indicated that they sought help from their teachers and classmates when they were experiencing difficulties with their school work, and they never sought help for their school work from their guardians. It was also found that, all the children had an opportunity to talk about their experiences to a proffesional upon arrival in South Africa, and that was very beneficail since it helpd them to forget about the experiences that were still affecting them.. Moreover, from the responses received, the majority of children found the people they were living with supportive, since they have been given a place to stay and were treated like the guardians` own children. Finally, the research findings indicated that the needs for education, professional help and family reunification were the most pressing needs among unaccompanied refugee children.