Stylized image of Sara Kate Baudhuin

Sara Kate Baudhuin Presents Refugee Research

Earlier this month, Sara Kate Baudhuin, Trinity sophomore, Program II major, and member of the Kenan Refugee Project, headed to Oxford College for the weekend. Sara Kate was attending the Time, Space, and Culture conference sponsored by the London Institute of Interdisciplinary Research. At her very first academic conference, she presented her summer research findings comparing the experience of refugees from Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo currently living in Rwanda.

Based on 40 refugee life stories, The Influence of Physical and Temporal Separation from Home on the Notion of Hope in Refugee Populations, explores the impact of protracted displacement on refugee well-being. Through analysis of a poignant set of refugee narratives, Sara Kate argues that a diminishing hope of repatriation and return to home and family can create new forms of intergenerational trauma. Both the initial forced displacement and the prolonged waiting in refugee camps, however safe they may be, generate trauma. Sara Kate concludes, “Time does not exist in a vacuum, the duration that one spends in refugee camps is not merely lost time with no effect, but rather, this trauma seems to compound with time. We see this trend happening in real time, we see the way this has affected both populations that we spoke to; this should catalyze policy change and demand more immediacy in finding solutions and support.“

Sara Kate is planning to revise her article for publication.

The Kenan Refugee Project (KRP) is a community-based research and advocacy project at Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics.


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