Understanding the Issue

The project kicked off on the 2nd October, with a workshop which introduced the topic of refugees to the school children through a series of activities.

The first activity looked at a selection of famous people and the class had to work out what they all had in common. They have all moved from their home country was a unanimous answer. Looking at the people in detail, the class then discovered which were refugees, and which were migrants, and the difference between the two terms.

Exploring the stories of famous refugees including Albert Einstein, Jackie Chan, Anne Frank and Rita Ora.

Deciding which five items to pack if they had to flee their country, the class agreed that money would be useful!  The top five things packed were money, phone, games console and touchingly, a family photo.  Gradually the group “lost” the objects from their suitcase mimicking the experience of many refugees.

The class discovered that they had things in common with refugees through a process of writing down things that were unique to them, and finding matches amongst their classmates. They all found they had something in common including similar hobbies such as football and art.

In the plenary the class showed they understood that despite their different life experiences refugees are just like you and I and although we might not speak the same language, we can connect with people through similar likes and hobbies. One girl when asked, ‘What would you do if a refugee joined your class?’ immediately said,

“I would respect them, not judge them and be their friend”

What an amazing moment!

During the next session the class will be making creative responses to the theme of refugees stories and experiences.  They will be working with illustrator Jane Ray.

To find out more about this project read our funding announcement blog.