Authors: David Boan, Benjamin Andrews, Elizabeth Loewer, Kalen Drake, Daniel Martison, Jamie D. Aten
Wheaton College, Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Psychology Department
Abstract: Distributive justice is an important theme in community and international psychology, overlapping with many related concepts of peace, equity, compassion, and more. Refugees, who often experience pervasive injustice, offer insights into the development of justice when they create a just community. The United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) is a network of churches in Kakuma Refugee Camp (Kenya) and the surrounding Turkana community founded and operated by refugees and local Turkana people. Founded in 1996, this group addressed ongoing conflict and distrust in the refugee camp by establishing a system of procedural and distributive justice. This qualitative study identified and described the methods used by the URHC to restore a sense of justice and reduce conflict in the camp. The project team interviewed 23 URHC members and leaders and, from those interviews, identified eight core themes describing strategies used by URHC. We discuss each of themes in depth as well as the association’s work as an example of applied distributive and procedural justice. We then conclude by highlighting several implications, program impact, and recommendations for future research.