Many of us feel helpless when we see news reports on the way governments treat refugees. I learnt a lot about refugees coming to Australia in researching my new novel Detention. The act of writing the book put me in contact with people who shared personal stories with me and also I read books and articles, listened to podcasts and watched documentary films. I’ve put together five things you could do at home or in the classroom to better understand and potentially help refugees.
1. Get the facts. Try Googling ‘Najeeba’s Story’ and discover what it’s really like to be a child refugee coming to Australia from Afghanistan. Or Google ‘What would you take?’ for a video on what it might be like to be forced to leave your home. Or check out: refugeecouncil.org.au/get-facts
2. Give a little. You could fundraise for refugees or donate a few dollars of pocket money to:
3. Speak out. Maybe you could invite someone with a refugee or migrant background to come and speak in your school and share their story. You could start by contacting the organisations above.
4. Reach out. Google ‘Refugee Organisation’ and the place you live and click through to see how you could volunteer or get involved locally. There are lots of amazing organisations doing big and small things to help.
5. Read all about it. Check out Room to Read’s amazing list of 35 Children’s Books to Read for World Refugee Day: https://www.roomtoread.org/35-children-s-books-to-read-for-world-refugee-day/
You can listen to the book soundtrack, watch the book trailer, read free chapters and more on the main Detention page.
You can download the teaching materials here.
You can buy the book in your local bookshop or link to online booksellers here.