Red Cross: Refugees and asylum seekers

Year 6 were fortunate to welcome a visitor from the Red Cross this morning. The children learnt about refugees and asylum seekers: understanding what each term means and why people might become one.

The children shared their ideas confidently and showed great maturity in their answers, with some willing to share their own experiences.

What could make it unsafe to live in a country?

  • If someone is trying to take over control of the country.
  • If the country is at war.
  • Poverty, where people can’t even grow food to live on, let alone afford to buy food.
  • Severe pollution can damage people’s health.
  • Laws in certain countries can lead to people being persecuted for the beliefs, race or sexuality.
  • Weather: drought, hurricanes, volcanoes, fires. (there are now climate refugees who have to move from their own country because of changes in their environment).
  • Contagious diseases.
  • The difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker:

    “Asylum seekers are looking for a place to stay.”

    Asylum seekers are legally allowed to live in a country while their application to stay in the country is processed. If their application to stay in the country is granted, they become refugees.

    How might asylum seekers feel when they first come to a new country?

  • Scared / afraid – living somewhere new that they have no knowledge of.
  • Confused – not knowing the laws and cultures of the new country.
  • Lonely / isolated – having left their family and friends behind.
  • Excited – at the prospect of making a new, positive life.
  • In light of these discussions, the children then designed welcome packs for asylum seekers adding a well-reasoned variety of information that would enable them to adapt quickly into their new environment and to feel safe. All children worked collaboratively in developing the welcome packs and in presenting their excellent ideas to the class.

    How should we treat asylum seekers?

  • Make them feel welcome
  • Act as role models to other countries
  • Make them feel safe
  • Make sure they understand how to get around and where they need to go
  • Treat them with respect
  • Give them a home
  • Help them to have fun
  • Include them as part of the community
  • Ensure they have enough food
  • Help them to feel emotionally strong / treat them with sensitivity and compassion
  • A massive thank you to Anne-Marie for coming in to work with us; the children really enjoyed the session and have learnt a lot from it.

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