5 free resources for Refugee Week: Build compassion with human stories

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Awareness Days
2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Refugee Week. This annual event, celebrated worldwide, is aimed at raising awareness of the resilience, strength, and contributions of refugees. It provides a valuable opportunity for schools to educate students on this important topic. Read on for 5 powerful resources to explore with your class.
Adhanom in storyworld Journey to a New Home
Adhanom in storyworld Journey to a New Home
The theme of Refugee Week 2023 was 'compassion', a vital value we should nurture in all young people, in terms of compassion for themselves, their wider communities, and indeed as a global community.
Nurturing compassion, empathy and understanding are at the heart of what we do at Lyfta and all our storyworlds are designed to do this by sharing slices of life from all around the world, allowing students to experience a range of perspectives, connect, and stand for a moment in someone else's shoes.
Refugee Week gives educators the ideal opportunity to raise awareness and to generate important discussions in the classroom to nurture compassion and empathy. This topic can be incorporated into history, geography, social studies or PSHE or could be explored as part of personal development time, tutor time or in an assembly.
Talk to students about the global refugee crisis and, importantly, the lived experiences of refugees. Use age-appropriate resources, literature, videos, and stories that shed light on the journeys, struggles, and resilience of refugees. Encourage discussions to help students develop empathy and a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by refugees.


1. Gain a deeper understanding of the experience of a refugee through an interactive human story

Trailer to Journey to a New Home
In Lyfta's storyworld Journey to a New Home, (most suited to KS3+), students Meet Adhanom, who is originally from Eritrea. Now living in Sweden, Adhanom reflects on the long and dangerous journey he made, via the small Italian island of Lampedusa, where the people there welcomed him with kindness and warmth.
Students will learn about the reasons he made such a difficult journey and what life is like for him now he is settled in Sweden. The storyworld offers a wealth of linked articles about the issue of migration, inclusion and belonging; and will empower students to analyse and use language appropriately, developing critical literacy skills.

2. Inspiring readers with refugee stories

This year we're invited to celebrate what compassion looks like in action. Our blog post Inspiring readers: refugee stories lists relevant reading resources covering KS1 to KS4. Ideal for PSHE, tutor time or assemblies.

3. Hear the inspiring stories of the Refugee Week 2023 Ambassadors

Refugee Week Ambassadors
Refugee Week Ambassadors
Hear introductions from an incredible group of Refugee Week Ambassadors for this year's festival. Read their introductions in their own words here and look out for more on Refugee Week's social media platforms in the next few weeks.

4. Visit the fascinating village of Awra Amba in Ethiopia for stories of compassion.

Zumra in storyworld series Awra Amba
Zumra in storyworld series Awra Amba
Students can meet Etagegn in the village square and explore the theme of compassion and caring for others, including refugees.
Or visit the library to meet the founder of the village; Zumra Nuru who talks about how he defused the situation when his community was under attack.

5. A Child Like You: online storytelling and drawing session from National Literacy Trust

2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Refugee Week
2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Refugee Week
In this online session students will meet author Na'ima B Roberts and illustrator Nadine Kaadan as they share A Child Like You, a book about the experiences of real-life activists and campaigners, showing courage, determination and hope in the face of challenges. The session takes place on Monday 19th June at 10am. Sign up here.
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