Why Are People Forcibly Displaced From Their Homes?
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Why Are People Forcibly Displaced From Their Homes?
Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Objectives — Students will be able to:

1. Explain the causes for forced displacement of people.
2. Describe five difficulties encountered by refugees.
3. Compare the difficulties faced by women & children as refugees in relation to those difficulties faced by men.
4.  Describe modern day refugee crisis.

Context

What causes people to become refugees?

• War and civil conflict
• Famine and other natural disasters.
• Persecution.
• Economic necessity
• Refugees may be found on every continent.

What difficulties are faced by refugees?

• loss of legal status and protection.
• loss of community and family members.
• loss of property and possessions.
• loss of livelihood, resulting in impoverishment.
• loss of freedom of movement.
• exploitation.

Specific examples of refugees

"This is what I would like to stress, a more personal approach in our work with refugees and a deeper understanding of the fact that the world refugee problem is the story of millions of individual lives: their suffering, but also their indomitable courage, resilience, and determination to survive and live..." ~ Dieter B. Scholz, S.J., Jesuit Refugee Service International Director 1980-1990

• More than 12,500 refugees from Congo flee to Rwanda (June 2012) 
• Tan Le - a TED Talk on her experiences as a Vietnamese refugee (2012) 
• Bayisa - Ethiopian refugee who lost everything (June 2012) 
• Misal Khan (Pakistan, 2012) 
• Lena (Sri Lanka, 2012) 
• Roberto (Colombia, 2012) 
• Hawa (Kenya, 2012) 
• Thang (Thailand, 2012)
• Hussani (Greece, 2012) 
• John Dau – God Grew Tired of Us (Netflix, 2006) 

• Daniel Mabut Garang – South Sudanese boy (Appendix I)
• Sri – thirteen-year old Achenese girl (Appendix II)
• Burmese widow (Appendix III)
• Rodi Alvarado (Appendix IV)
• Abdul Sheikh (Appendix VII)

Groups that help refugees and IDPs

• UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
• Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
• PRM – U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
• CRS – Catholic Relief Services
• Women's Refugee Commission 

Experience

Guest Speakers
• Invite a refugee to tell his or her story

Articles/Books

• War Has Changed Our Life, Not Our Spirit — Experiences of Forcibly Displaced Women (JRS Publications, 1999)
• The Refugee Voice, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA newsletter
• Beyond Sovereignty (Maryann Cusimano Love, 2010) — specifically Chapter 8. 
• What is the What? (David Eggers, 2007) - a novelized account of the Lost Boy Valentino Achak Deng and other young victims of the Sudanese civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2005 and displaced tens of thousand of children.

Films/Movies/Documentaries

• The Quake - a PBS Frontline documentary exposing the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 
• The Other Side of Immigration - a documentary exposing why so many Mexicans leave for the U.S., and what happens to the families they leave behind (Netflix, 2009)
• Blood Diamond — a film that portrays the child soldier issue in Africa over the bloody trail of diamonds. (Note: suitability for a high school audience must be assessed)
• U.S.-Colombian Military Agreement (YouTube, 2009)
• Forgotten War in Colombia (YouTube, 2008)
• Human Rights Watch Refugee Voices 

Other

• Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
• Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa website

Reflection

Why do we care about refugees? • Compassion for those who suffer even if they're not one of 'us.'
• Understanding of common human rights and dignity of the person.
• Common religious tradition.
• Christian biblical tradition: e.g., story of the Good Samaritan, and Leviticus 19.
• Catholic Social Teaching on Solidarity: Gaudium et Spes, their hopes are our hopes, etc.
• U.S. State Department's refugee admission policies

Consider why women and children refugees outnumber men by a ratio of four to one.

• Is it possible to provide adequate protection and care for women and children in their homelands? 
• What does it mean to be a child soldier? 

Action

• Bookmark the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website and visit once per week for new material.
• Bookmark Child Soldiers website and visit monthly.
• Bookmark Women's Refugee Commission website and visit monthly.
• Contact local interest group on refugees in community.
• Learn local congressional representative’s or senator’s position on refugees.
• Write articles for either school or local newspapers.
• What have you learned? What do you think should be done?
• Perform volunteer work.
• Seek to help migrant families through local parish. 

Evaluation

Student evaluation of the lesson – small group work and relate to class.
Small group interaction – students discuss the steps to take to provide adequate protection and care for refugees.