The current study formed part of a broader research project called Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments (RYSE project), coordinated by a team of researchers from the University of Pretoria in Embalenhle, Secunda. As part of the broader project, I aimed to determine how youth between the ages of 15 and 25, living in the resource-constrained petrochemical community of Embalenhle, conceptualise hope and identify resources of hope as pathways to resilience.
I followed a qualitative approach, guided by an interpretive epistemology and a phenomenological research design. I collected and documented data through focus-group interviews, ‘draw, write and tell’ methods, audio recordings, field notes and a research journal. Through inductive thematic analysis, I identified four main themes, each with related sub-themes. The themes I identified, in terms of how hope is experienced, relate to internal hope resources, structural hope resources, relational hope resources and the nature of hope. The 11 sub-themes were supported by 17 categories.
Based on the findings, I concluded that hope is conceptualised by the youth as an emotion and expectancy, aimed at the future and grounded in the internal, structural and relational sources of hope.
Based on this conclusion, I recommend that future researchers and facilitators of hope and resilience interventions focus on similar studies or initiatives, specifically when working in resource-constrained communities.