This report evaluates the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation's (CSVR's) work with a group of refugee women affected by torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Over a period of six years, facilitators from CSVR met with a group of refugee women with the overall aim of facilitating their economic and social empowerment and setting in motion their integration into mainstream South African society. The intervention broke the stereotypes that cast refugee women as helpless victims who are in need of 'hand-outs' by galvanising their self-reliance and agency to form an organisation that will advocate for refugee rights and establish income-generating projects. This evaluation was conducted as part of the critical reflection process that fed into CSVR's development of a model for community intervention to address torture, detailed in Finding our way: Developing a community work model for addressing torture.
Prof. Malose Langa is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in the School of Community and Human Development, Department of Psychology, at the University of Witwatersrand and Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Recompilation.