Year 10 students at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate have just taken part in a ‘Justice Day’. The aim of the day was to seek ways to overcome the prejudice and discrimination directed towards refugees and asylum seekers and to learn more about our Christian attitudes towards them.
Classes learnt about the effects of Genocide, past and present and how it leads to innocent people losing their life on an inconceivable scale. Pupils discussed how genocide in places like Bosnia and Darfur, causes people to become displaced and therefore refugees and asylum seekers.
Mrs Craig, a chemistry teacher from St Aidan’s High School, spoke to the whole of Year 10 about her experiences as a refugee from Bosnia. A number of the year group were moved and inspired by her talk. One pupil said ‘I thought the speaker was very effective, her past made me really think and even though it was obviously ahard subject to talk about she was really, really good’.
Following a liturgy in the chapel, a group of Year 10s prayed for all refugees and asylum seekers across the world.
The day also involved some role playing about what it could be like for people to be displaced and driven out of their own country. Pupils had to think fast to ensure the safety and survival of their family. This was a practical method of learning and one that the pupils really enjoyed.
Some comments made by the comments after the game were:
The passages game was very interactive. It gives an experience of refugee life.
The passages game was the best part of the day because it really helped us to understand what refugees go through to escape from their countries.
I enjoyed the passages game because it taught me that life must be horrible for people displaced from their homes. It taught me never to give up!
To day came to an end with the ‘Balloons for peace’ balloon release. Each balloon had a prayer attached to it written by a pupil earlier in the day. This was a lovely opportunity to watch our intentions for refugees and asylum seekers being raised up to God.
Overall, it was a wonderful and valuable day, enjoyed by all.