It is estimated that sixty million people have been displaced from their homes around the globe. We’ve seen the images. We’ve watched the news. For many of us, though, the issue remains largely distant, impersonal and therefore, unimportant. But those people are all people, and so many of them are children, just like ours.
It’s natural to want to shield our kids from the world’s dark atrocities and injustices, and it’s certainly wise to be the filter between the world and our kids, but the world needs kids who care. But our kids cannot care if they do not know.
In that hope, here are 5 resources to teach your kids (of a variety of ages) about refugees. (And if you don’t know much yourself, that’s okay. You’ll learn, too. I’d also highly recommend reading Seeking Refuge.)
- UN Refugee Agency Teaching Resources – While most of the materials are most suitable for teenagers, the Passages and Balloon Game are appropriate for younger kids.
- Family Kit from Fair Trade Friday – This kit provides 6 nights of story and discussion – including scripture – along with a map and crocheted ball made by a refugee from Houston, TX. (To purchase the kit, follow the link, click ‘Collections’, ‘Kids’, then scroll down to Global Family Kit. After selecting, choose Refugees under featured country.)
- For older children, these two videos from Save the Children will demonstrate the story of one child refugee. Most Shocking Second a Day & Still the Most Shocking Second a Day
- Perhaps the best thing any of us can do is to befriend a refugee in our community. Listen to their story. Have playdates with our children. Let’s not forget that kids are often better at kindness and compassion than we are. (It’s worth noting that Alex, who wanted to adopt Omran, had a Syrian friend – relationships are a powerful teacher of compassion.) Take the time to seek out refugees in your own backyard.
- Read a book together. A book is a powerful tool for learning, especially with kids. From this link, I like the conversation starters and tips along with the reading suggestions. This list provides some options if you have older kids, too.
Share in the comments if you tried any of these resources or if you have some other ideas to use, too!