L'Europa inizia a Lampedusa

Class activities on refugees

The term “refugee” shall apply to any person who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it. [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, article 1A]

Here it is an example of class activity aimed at reflect on the issue of migration and refugees through 3 phases: Identify yourself, Investigate, Accept.

Identify yourself  with a migrant/refugee

  • What do you know about refugees? Who are they? what’s the situation in their homes? What kind of tragedies are escaping and what kind of troubles are facing of during their escape? What kind of shelter would they receive?
  • Through the following questions try to Identify yourself  with a migrant/refugee escaping from her/his home:
  • How would you organize your escape?
  • To which country? Why?
  • Which objects would you take with you?
  • How do you imagine your escape?

When possible, it could be useful to organize a meeting with a refugee in order to let your class  knowing directly their experience. Otherwise one can watch videos, photos, like those available on the UNHCR website: for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kCnJwckhfY

Investigate

  • Do you know any refugees?  Are there any refugees in your school/class?
  • Which is the situation in their home country?
  • Why had they to get away from their homes ?
  • What’s their present condition?

Accept

  • What is acceptance for you?
  • How is inclusion for refugees in your Country? What are its strong-points? What could be done better?

To the students:

Your opinion is important to us: Pls. answer to these last questions:

  • What is acceptance for you?
  • What can you/your community/your country do, to better include them?
  • How is inclusion for refugees in your Country? What are its strong-points? What could be done better?
  • After the work you did with your class, has your perception on refugees changed? How?

To the teacher:

As said, this is only an example of activity that could be led in the class. But we wish to know the activity you are going to undertake. Therefore we ask you to describe it through a short paper 4000/5000 characters (spaces included), accompanied by slides, or pictures or short clips, etc…. This, in order to create a resource for teachers on the dedicated web-site, currently under construction.

Click here to have a look to student’s work
Watch all the videos on the You Tube channel