1 February 2024

ASPIRE: Endeavours for Peace

Young South Sudanese refugees’ efforts to create better and more peaceful future

ASPIRE Report CoverResearcher and Programme Manager Ayo Degett (DRC and affiliated to UCPH) is together with Professor Susan Whyte (Department of Anthropology, UCPH) thrilled to announce the first publication of analytical findings in the ASPIRE project. The findings are presented in the report 'ASPIRE: Endeavours for Peace: Young South Sudanese refugees efforts to create better and more peaceful future'. Aspiring for Peace and Inclusion Research (ASPIRE) is a long-term ethnographic research project that DRC is implementing in partnership with the Department of Anthropology at University of Copenhagen and UNHCR. The report has been launched in the field for donors, stakeholders and refugees during November and December 2023.

ASPIRE aims to understand young people’s efforts for peaceful coexistence, their engagement with peers and communities, and interventions by political authorities and humanitarian, development and peace (HDP) actors over a period of 15 years. This report builds on ethnographic data from South Sudanese living in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda, primarily collected in September and October 2023. The report suggests that these ‘endeavours for peace’ should be examined from the perspective of the young people as acting subjects dealing with the current conditions within Rhino Camp.
The endeavours Ayo Degett and Susan Whyte have explored in this period are attempts to spot incipient conflicts on the rise and de-escalate them. The research underscores the centrally important interconnection of generations when it comes to conflict and peace at community level. This raises the question of whether future research should focus exclusively on endeavours undertaken by young people or whether the challenge is to examine the ways in which youth fit into the larger picture of peace endeavours.

The report concludes with a discussion of questions to be explored for further research, opportunities as the authors see them and feedback from the refugee community on the findings.

ASPIRE will expand into Kenya, more specifically Kakuma Refugee Camp, in 2024. This expansion will provide a unique opportunity to compare and juxtapose developments of community driven initiatives, peace and conflict across borders and commnuities.

Read the ASPIRE: Endeavours for Peace report.

For more information about the ASPIRE project and the ASPIRE: Endeavours for Peace report, contact researcher and Programme Manager Ayo Degett.