“Walk a Mile in My Shoes: A Refugee and Migration Simulation is a unique and dynamic learning experience providing a powerful glimpse into what many refugees endure when fleeing from their homes and living in a refugee camp. The three-hour experience cultivates global awareness and compassion through the practice of empathy and perspective-taking.

During the simulation, participants are divided into small family groups and given a new cultural identity, representing one of the region’s six main resettled refugee populations. These small groups then travel through the simulation where they will encounter the hardships that are common to refugees who live in camps.

The experience begins with participants fleeing their home country and encountering an obstacle course at their “national border."  Those who successfully enter the new country will then proceed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees camp, where they will face the following challenges:

•      registering their family as refugees at the UNHCR tent

•      getting a health examination at a medical tent

•      obtaining and purifying water

•      securing food at distribution area

•      learning a new language

Participants will have to successfully navigate each of these stations (which will be staffed by trained community volunteers), possibly having to barter their few possessions and/or evade security to avoid “jail” or being forced back to their home country.

The camp comes to a close at an interview with a USCIS officer who informs participants the grim facts of resettlement. Because less than 1% of the 16.7 million refugees in the world are chosen for resettlement, almost every family will be informed that they are not eligible to be resettled in a third country and must return the camp. One family will be chosen to represent the 1% who will be resettled in a third country.

A debriefing, facilitated by trained staff from local refugee resettlement agencies, will conclude the Refugee Camp Simulation and allow participants the opportunity to reflect on their experience and share new insights.

Please note that the event is reserved on Friday, October 9, 2015 for student groups and sponsors. The simulation will open to the public all day Saturday, October 10, 2015. 

"The Mock Refugee Camp was the most profound professional development I've ever participated in. My eyes were opened in a new way to the experiences so many of our kids have had before getting to us. For me, as a teacher, it was life changing."  – Virginia Garren, Goldsmith Elem.

Our Goal: Train every Middle School in Kentucky to host their own Walk-A-Mile In My Shoes Migration Simulation