Hannah’s ‘refugee’ experience!

Building temporary shelters

Building temporary shelters

Hannah, curently a member of The Briars Team at Crich, recently took part in a CAFOD two-day experiential learning experience for youth leaders at Lee House, near Preston.

The programme included an overnight refugee simulation and an update on the One Climate One World campiagn. It was aimed at giving particpants a personal experience of global justice issues and supporting them in their delivery of CAFOD/global justice elements in their youth programmes.

During the refugee simulation the particpants took on the role of indigenous people in Brazil. They suffered being kicked off their land in the Amazon rainforest by a logging company and had to build their own temporary shelters (including sleeping in them overnight!). Next they were forced into a detention centre where they were interrogated in a foreign language before having to defend themselves and their rights in a mock Brazilian court hearing.

Defending themselves and their rights in court

Defending themselves and their rights in court

Despite the simulation being quite intense at times, all the participants said it was a very valuable experience. Hannah commented:
‘I can honestly say that I had such a worthwhile experience with CAFOD at Lee House. It helped to put so much into perspective for me in terms of what is happening to people all over the world, but also the unheard stories of those seeking refuge or asylum here in the UK, who are being treating so poorly because of it. It’s definitely helped me to think more about how my actions are affecting people all over the world too, through affecting the climate, and how I can help to raise awareness for those being treated so unfairly. The experience has also made me realise just how lucky I am to live in the situation I do. I definitely feel as if I appreciate the smaller things a lot more, and I have learnt a lot about myself through the simulation. It’s definitely something I’d do again, and I have a lot that I can take back to my work with young people. Thank you for all of the hospitality and the entire experience!’

CAFOD would like to thank Joe Howson who devised and ran the learning experience, his team of volunteers and all those who took part so wholeheartedly.

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