Refugees

Q: What do Regina Spektor, Albert Einstein and Jesus have in common?

A: They were all refugees. Regina Spektor fled Soviet Russia when she was nine; Einstein settled in the US to escape Nazi Germany, and the Bible tells how Jesus was taken as a baby to Egypt to evade the murderous King Herod.

A refugee is someone who has left their country to escape war, persecution or natural disaster.

This Saturday is World Refugee Day (20 June), an event which encourages people around the world to engage with the refugee community; to combat negative stereotypes about refugees and asylum seekers; and to celebrate the skills and creativity that refugees take to their new countries.

The world is currently experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two. The United Nations (UN) estimates that a record 70.8 million people, including 25.9 million refugees and 3.5 million asylum seekers, have now been forced to flee their homes. Over half of refugees come from just three places: South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria.

Developing countries are the most affected by the crisis. Turkey hosts the most refugees, followed by Pakistan, Uganda and Sudan.

What will you do to help refugees this week?

Read Our Stories

Assembly

A teenage asylum seeker from Saudi Arabia says she wants to use her newfound freedom to help others in this moving interview. What can we learn from her story?

Activities

  1. Without using a dictionary, write a definition of the following words: refugee, asylum seeker, migrant, persecution, displaced. Then check to see if you were right.
  2. Find out more about one of the countries mentioned in the text at the top of this theme. Create a factfile which explains its relationship to refugees.
  3. Research a famous refugee who overcame their hardship, and achieved great things. Give a short presentation explaining their success.