An appreciative inquiry into philanthropy of community (PoC) among refugee women in Johannesburg


Date: May 28, 2012
  • SHARE:

Migration and resettlement in South Africa bring many challenges to refugee women. Within a very hostile and discriminating environment, refugee women have to familiarise themselves with a new culture and new languages, as well as gain access to systems of health, education and employment. Loss of identity, income, career, equality and significant others are evident, which leaves them, as refugee women, excluded, isolated and disempowered. However, instead of just becoming passive recipients of aid, refugee women are active in forming their own informal horizontal helping networks, defined as Philanthropy of Community (PoC). PoC can be described as informal, multi-directional, intra-gender helping relationships among refugee women, who share communality in terms of language, culture, social circumstances and ideals. In this study, the networks are also referred to as “the sisterhood”, based on the shared goals, circumstances and feelings of mutual empathy and loyalty toward each other. Driven by the philosophy of ubuntu, altruism and religious beliefs, and guided by the principle, “If I have, I give”, the sisterhood gives and receives material and non-material help in its community. The goal of this study was to gain an appreciative understanding of philanthropy of community (PoC) among refugee women in Johannesburg as a social asset for community development. Objectives of this study were to identify and describe the PoC of the sisterhood, as it perceives and experiences it, and identify assets that can be utilised to facilitate community development practice. The sample consisted of five Congolese refugee women from Yeoville. All participants had a tertiary qualification, yet were unemployed. A qualitative research approach was followed to allow participants to construct meaning out of their social and cultural realities.


Publisher: university of Johannesburg
Year of Publication: 2012

Comment on An appreciative inquiry into philanthropy of community (PoC) among refugee women in Johannesburg

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *