“Refugees are people who have fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and have crossed an international border to find safety in another country. They often have had to flee with little more than the clothes on their back, leaving behind homes, possessions, jobs and loved ones.” (UNHCR)

The 4e Section Internationale has been studying an English novel called Refugee by Alan Gratz. This novel takes the students on a journey with three different refugees at three different times in history. One character is a refugee fleeing Nazi Germany during the second Word War, one is a refugee fleeing Castro’s dictatorial reign in Cuba in 1994, and one is a refugee fleeing present day Syria under the rule of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. In addition to reading the stories of these refugees and the challenges that they continually faced on their journeys toward freedom, the students have also been studying migration in its many forms as part of their History Geography unit.

During the study of this unit the students had the privilege of interacting with a member of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Ms. Nisreen Rubaian.  With over 20 years’ experience working with refugees in 8 different countries, Ms Rubaian presented an interactive workshop to our students. During the workshop she discussed real life example of experiences she has had working with refugees and answered students’ questions about what it is like to work with the United Nations in this capacity.

As a follow up activity, the students are creating presentations where they learn, respond, create and reflect on the journey of a real-life refugee, migrant, asylum seeker or internally displaced person. These presentations will include spoken presentations, map creation, citation of sources and a reflection on the different aspects of refugees and migration that they have studied during this unit.


English Teacher SI