Somali refugees’ wellbeing: the role of socio-culturally mediated agency
Although there is substantial research on refugees and their wellbeing, there is limited research that examines the role of refugees‘ agency in their lives. Using Doyal and Gough‘s (1991) theory of human need, the study analyses Somali refugees‘ wellbeing by examining the satisfaction of their human needs. Drawing on data from 70 Somali refugees in Kisenyi, Kampala, the study found that Somali refugees exercised their socio-culturally mediated agency to promote their wellbeing. The socio-culturally mediated agency was demonstrated in form of an individual‘s/family‘s ability to start and maintain small and medium-scale business enterprises, and develop social networks with the host community, fellow Somalis within Uganda and abroad. Individuals/families that engaged in either or both of the agency actions were able to adequately meet their human needs, thus promoting their wellbeing because adequate satisfaction of human needs leads to human wellbeing.