What are some of the challenges faced by refugees? Find out and then create a refugee board game to play with your family.
“A refugee is a person who has fled their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations and persecution there. The risks to their safety and life were so great that they felt they had no choice but to leave and seek safety outside their country because their own government cannot or will not protect them from those dangers. Refugees have a right to international protection.”
Sometimes people have to move country to escape from persecution or war. We call these people refugees. Here are some challenges that you might face if you have had to escape from your country:
- Language barriers
- Effects from the trauma of leaving your home
- Separation from loved ones and family
- Culture shock
- Difficulty finding employment
- Difficulty finding a home
- Racism and discrimination
- Money worries
- Difficulties with changing school systems
What other challenges might refugees face?
There is more information about migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the Amnesty International website.
Board games often use squares or spaces for counters or characters to move through the game from the start square to the finish square. Often in board games players come across barriers where they have to move back or sometimes get rewards and are able to move forward ahead of others. Refugees frequently face barriers when trying to get to safety.
What to do
Can you make your own refugee board game (it could be a truly original idea or based on a ‘classic’ board game) where the counters/characters are trying to get from a start point of danger, prejudice or war to their end point of safety, freedom, acceptance and a new life.
They may face challenges on the squares or on cards that are picked up along the way such as:
- you have been refused entry to this country, go back 3 spaces.
- No-one will rent you a place to live, miss a turn.
- There might be a border line that players can’t cross until they roll a specific number on the die.
Or there may be a reward, for example:
- you have found an aid point and been giving fresh water and food for the first time in a week, move forward 2 spaces.
Once you have made your board and any cards you want for your game — gather together with your household and play it.
Take it Further
Discuss together how you felt at different points in the game, and the fact that many refugees never find the safety, acceptance and freedom they searched for.
Do some research into the experience of refugees who arrive in your country – how are they treated? What is the government’s approach to them? Which charities help them? What could you do to help?
Try our activity five thing in five.