News & events


Hope and the Drive to Survive: Exploring Hope with Children and Youth in South Africa and Canada

29 September 2014
13:15 - 15:00

Speakers:   Dr. Sophie Yohani, PhD., RPsych. Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology, Director of the Faculty of Education’s Counselling Centre (University of Alberta)
Ms. Avivit Cherrington, M.Ed.(Educational Psychology) Doctoral Candidate in Educational Psychology: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Port Elizabeth).

Moderator: Dr Nene Ernest Khalema, Senior Research Specialist (HSD), Adjunct Professor of Public Health Center for Health Promotion Studies, University of Alberta

Date:  Monday, 29 September     Time: 13:15  – 15:00

Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

What is it that allows people to remain connected to life despite significant challenges? How is it that some people give up while others seem to find even the smallest of evidence that life is worth living? This ability has been linked to hope, “a process of anticipation that involves the interaction of thinking, acting, feeling, and relating, and is directed toward a future fulfillment that is personally meaningful” (Stephenson, 1991, pg. 1459).

Global issues of poverty, oppression, violence and forced migration breed uncertainty, fear and feelings of entrapment, however hope can transcend adversity spreading empowerment, connectedness, courage and liberation This seminar highlights the dimension of hope as survival, “a belief that you will be liberated from harm, that options will always be available to you, and that you can rest assured that everything will be fine” (Scioli & Biller, 2010, p.4). Drawing on our visual participatory explorations of hope with rural primary school children in QwaQwa, South Africa and refugee children resettling in Canada, we discuss the significance of this dimension of hope for children and youth facing trauma and adversity. 

The presentation examines how hope has been linked to human change processes in the past three decades, and key factors identified for the development of hope in children and youth. Next, we share the participants’ personal experiences of survival-oriented hope and sharing our insights into their constructions of hope as protection from emotional, physical and psychological harm. Third, we integrate this information and examine how hope can be nurtured in psychosocial practice with children, implications for policies relating to children’s health and wellbeing, as well as programs for community development and social change.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban

RSVP by 28 September
Cape Town: Ray Adams (021) 466 7936,  12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria