Dr. Lydia Gitau - Trauma-Sensitivity & Peacebuilding - Tuesday 27th March

Considering the Case of South Sudanese Refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp

To be launched by Richard Ackland

Richard Ackland, former host of Media Watch, diarist and legal affairs editor of The Saturday Paper, launching Dr. Lydia Gitau's 'Trauma-Sensitivity and Peacebuilding' a story of the resilience and courage of South Sudanese refugees. Richard's launch will be followed by Lydia in conversation with Professor Stuart Rees, plus audience Q&A.

This book identifies a gap in peacebuilding theory and practice in terms of sensitivity to trauma and its impact on the survivors of war and other mass violence. The research focuses on the traumatic experiences and perceptions of peace of South Sudanese refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Northwestern Kenya. It further explores the possibilities for peacebuilding identified in these perceptions.

A lack of sensitivity to the trauma experienced by the survivors of conflict and mass violence leads to interventions that are at best removed from, and at worst detrimental to the welfare of the survivors. Interventions that take into consideration the complex and multifaceted ways in which the survivors experience and respond to the traumatic events, encourage capacities for resilience in the survivors, engage the creative arts in peacebuilding, and emphasise the centrality of community and relationships, are seen to assist the survivors in recovery from trauma and to facilitate peacebuilding.

Author bio:

Dr. Lydia Wanja Gitau (Kenya) is a graduate of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney. She was the recipient of the 2014–2015 IPRA Foundation’s Dorothy M. Senesh Graduate Fellowship, and the 2014 Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney. Her employment history includes lecturing at Kenya Methodist University and counselling at Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya. She has been a part-time lecturer and tutor at University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She is currently working at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). She lives in Sydney with her husband and two children. This book is a revised version of Lydia’s Ph.D. thesis. She is interested in examining the post-conflict interventions that have potential to support long-lasting peace in the African Region and beyond, with a particular focus on trauma-sensitive interventions.


Date and time: Tuesday 27th March, 6pm for 6.30pm

Please RSVP here or phone 02 9660 2333

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