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Forgiveness as a Positive Contributing Factor on the Mental Wellbeing of Congolese Refugees and Asylum Seekers Post-War Experience

Pride Kandemiri, University of Witwatersrand

The ongoing political violence in the Democratic republic of Congo has exposed female Congolese to traumatic events and adverse situations such as sexual violence, genocide, torture, political persecution, and the loss of loved ones, which have made them to leave their country. These traumatizing experiences negatively affect the mental wellbeing of Congolese. The study explored the impact of forgiveness on mental wellbeing among Congolese refugees and asylum seekers post war experience. 10 female Congolese refugees and asylum seekers with post war experience were interviewed through semi-structured interviews. Findings of the study showed that forgiveness resulted in improved mental wellbeing of Congolese female refugees and asylum seekers, with reduced anger, anxiety, depression, stress and rumination. These findings indicate the importance of incorporating forgiveness in mental wellbeing interventions to improve the mental wellbeing of war survivors. The study provides recommendations on how mental health practitioners can incorporate forgiveness in mental wellbeing interventions.

See paper.

  Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1