Students learn what it’s like to be a refugee

  • Apr. 13, 2016 3:01 p.m.

Students of St. Martin de Porres School are about to embark on a journey of greater understanding towards refugees, with a specific focus on Syrian refugee families.

The students were privy to a presentation by Development and Peace Caritas Canada, where a representative came to discuss what it meant to be a refugee. Kathleen Ladouceur of the organization spoke about the definition of a refugee, with particular regard to Syrian refugees and the war in Syria as examples.

This presentation kicked off a two week activity campaign where students will work through stations designed to give them a better idea of the life of a refugee.

“Through each station, the kids will learn the things that happen to a refugee or displaced person. They will learn to understand that these people had everything that was their world and now they have nothing that is important to them,” explained school Principal Cathy Cameron.

“In that, it helps to build the concept and build context as to what people who are refugees are feeling. It helps the students to understand build that understanding based on their own world.”

Cameron said this understanding for the kids is to help them develop empathy and build understanding of other people’s situations in life.

“If we can help the students to understand, they can perhaps make small changes that affect other people in the world,” she said.

“It’s part of who we are in Catholic education because this is about building the concept of, ‘there are things larger than us’ and what we can do to help bring peace to others in the world who aren’t as fortunate.”

Many students sat engaged throughout the presentation, and later reflected on what they had learned.

“I know what they’re going through more now. Some of them are here and they’re safe, but they want to go back, even though it’s not safe,” said Hailee Cyrenne, 11.

“They grew up (in Syria) – that’s where their memories are and some of the refugees have probably been split up from their friends or their families and aunties and uncles. I think that’s probably really hard for them so it’s important for us to make them feel welcome while they’re here.

“We live in Canada and won’t ever be able to compare our lives to how scared the refugees are to where we are now and how we feel. We’re probably never going to experience that because of where we live and how lucky we are. I think we have to try as best as we can to fit in their shoes.”

Cyrenne’s classmate Max Proteau, 11, agreed with her, adding, “It is a big deal to pay refugees with a lot of respect. As Hailee said, they want to go home so we should make them feel like they have another home while they’re here.”

The students of St. Martin de Porres will work through various stations over the next two weeks to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a refugee and some of the struggles associated with the status and life change.

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

City council approves operating budget to a tune of $364 million

The 2.02% hike includes 1% for capital investment and 0.11% for the carbon tax

Province not providing aid to Red Deer for its June storm

Cause of storm wasn’t ‘extraordinary’ according to province

UPDATE: Two taken into custody after shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe incident was targeted attack

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Most Read