Challenges, resources and balance: Educations’ impact on South Sudanese youth girls’ well-being in Rhino Camp refugee settlement, Uganda
Since the outbreak of the civil war in South Sudan in 2013, nearly 1.1 million refugees have fled to Uganda. Because of ongoing conflict and violence, many refugees either chose to, or are forced to flee the country. The already low school enrolment in South Sudan is deeply affected by this war, and for many refugee’s education is one of the main reasons for fleeing to Uganda. With the Government of Uganda’s 2006 Refugee Act, refugees are given the freedom to work, health services, movement within the country and education. However, accessing post-primary education is limited and expensive, and students encounter hardship, both with or without access to education post primary school. With a theoretical and conceptual framework of well-being, socialization and education in emergencies, this study explores how post-primary education impacts the well-being of South Sudanese youth girls in Rhino Camp refugee settlement in northern Uganda. The girls’ experiences in their past and present life, as well as their aspirations for their future, lays the foundation for exploring the challenges they encounter in school and the resources they possess, or gain from education, in order to face those challenges. The main findings of this study show that school is not just important for learning and knowledge generation, but also for social interaction with peers, friendships and social activities, prevention from early marriage and pregnancy, to process trauma and to create hope for the future. By examining the challenges the girls face in school and in their everyday life, and the resources they possess to meet those challenges, this study argues for a balance in well-being to be imperative for the youth girls’ well-being in education.