After attending the UNICEF Youth Activism Training Program for the Refugee and Migrant crisis we came back to school with a new-found passion to raise awareness about the issue and share our knowledge with fellow students. The activism training program taught us a lot about the Refugee Crisis and equipped us with the right information and techniques we needed to educate our community about the issue.
After planning out our campaign, the three of us set out to do a few things around the school. Firstly, we organised mini workshops for 1st Year students about the Refugee Crisis. In this interactive learning session, the students had a walking debate, deliberating upon whether or not Ireland should take in more refugees. This allowed the students to think more about the issue and gave them an opportunity to broadcast their thoughts, solidify opinions and fill gaps in each other's knowledge.
Following this, we showed them a short documentary titled “Rania’s Odyssey”, which gave them the opportunity to delve deeper into the life of a refugee. We found that across the board, the pupils were not only surprised by how much they could relate to little things about Rania which made it evident that she was just like any of us, but also by how she was treated by other countries when trying to cross the border. The video was a real eye opener for them, shedding light on the harsh reality of the dehumanising behaviour some people have towards those seeking safety like Rania. During the workshops, we informed the students of some little-known statistics to give them a better idea about the state of things. By the end of the session, the students gave us feedback about all the new information they’d just acquired, and about their feelings on the appalling conditions refugees must live and travel in just to get to a safe place. They learned about how Ireland can help and take in more refugees and be more accepting of them, and that we, as the generation that will soon be taking over, have a duty and have the power to take action and make a difference to the problems that really matter.
We also held a bake sale in our school to raise money to donate to UNICEF for their #UPROOTED campaign and successfully raised 88 Euro. This was a great way to raise money and students loved it because of the yummy food they got to buy. Other than this we made posters on the refugee and migrant crisis and displayed them around the school so that all students could see and learn from them.
Overall, we did a successful activism campaign on the Refugee Crisis. Not only did we raise awareness, we also learned a lot and had a great experience working as a team.
Tomi , Shurooq and Saad
Students of Hansfield ETSS
Barnwell Road, Ongar, Dublin 15