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This learning package grew from a strong belief of those in the MOOL Charity that young people need to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the realities of the global Refugee Crisis, both nationally and at a local level.
Aims and Objectives of the Learning Programmes
It is vitally important not only to provide the stories, facts and figures of the plight of refugees but to provide engaging learning programmes to develop greater empathy for those who find themselves in such situations.
This programme offers specific teaching and learning opportunities through a variety of formats and in particular the Expressive Arts with a focus on Drama. Arguably, the Arts more than any other curriculum area provides the mechanisms and conventions through which children can engage with the practical and emotional complexities of challenging situations, allowing them to really stand in the shoes of characters and build empathy and understanding at a deeper, meaningful level.
The empathy and kindness which is nurtured through this work will enable young people to challenge their own views and behaviours as well as those of others. This strategy of exploration leading to greater understanding and hence building greater empathy is a process that is transferable and can be applied to other challenging issues we all face in our lives.
Raise awareness of the refugee crisis
- Exploring how global events can impact the lives of individuals.
- Examining the journeys faced by refugees in pursuit of safety.
- Reviewing the myths surrounding the refugee crisis.
Developing empathy towards the plight of refugees
- Giving children the opportunity to take on the roles of young refugees and others in their lives
- Exploring feelings and sensory responses to imagined situations
- Examining ways in which the worlds of the refugees and the children are similar and different
Promoting the successful integration of refugees in the community
- Providing activities that heighten awareness of social responsibility.
- Promoting acceptance and celebration of the diversity of culture in our community.
- Considering the lives of refugees in their new communities.
The Experiences and Outcomes from the Scottish National Curriculum for Excellence are identified for each activity. The four capacities which are core to the CfE, are embedded in the learning:
The premise for each of the three learning programme is a book – each of which was chosen for the quality of its' engagement, thematic focus and appropriacy for the different learning groups. All three books are celebrated for the way they address the heartbreaking often complex issues of the refugee crisis. They are hugely accessible for young children, older children and adults alike.
'My Name is Not Refugee'
( P1-3 Main Themes: Immigration, Family, Moving Home )
An award-winning thoughtful and moving picture book that touchingly explores the refugee crisis by following the journey of a young boy and his mother as they seek safety through migration.
Through the boys' observation and experience, we are invited to imagine each stage of the real journeys being made by children today.
'The Day War Came'
( P4-6 Main Themes: War, Displacement, Compassion)
The narrative takes the form of a beautiful powerful poem following the journey of a little girl forced to become a refugee when war destroys everything she has ever known.
This story gets to the heart of difficult issues, exploring the displacement and trauma of people, especially children, in a time of war. Hugely thought-provoking, it portrays the force of prejudice, humanity and compassion.
'The Boy at the Back of the Class'
(P7-S1/S2 Main Themes: Friendship, Kindness, Empathy)
"This is the story about how one ordinary nine-year-old child and three classmates are full of empathy for Ahmet, a boy that comes to their school as a refugee from Syria (he is the boy at the back of the class).
Through their sensitivity, curiosity, ingenuity, bravery and innocent niceness, they make a massive impact of Ahmet’s life, friends, class, school, community and wider world.
There’s a lovely lack of stereotyping on gender and backstory for the narrator, which adds to the message of not judging people before you know them.
An inspiring and sweet tale that will help children think about what it is to be a good person whatever your circumstances (the narrator is from a poor background with a single parent mum who struggles to make ends meet), and challenge prejudice and push for fairness, whenever possible.
This is a beautiful, open-hearted debut from Onjali Q Raúf that should help children be the best they can be and realise the power of kindness. ''
National Book Trust of Scotland
''Figures at a Glance''
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2020)
2M Asylum seeking application
4.2M Stateless People
At least 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18.
There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and lack access to basic rights such as education, health care, employment and freedom of movement.