Seeking Refuge Promotes Empathy Worldwide

The United Nations has declared June 20th World Refuge Day and in response to the worldwide refuge crisis, Six Seconds sponsored a series of workshops and public dialogs around the globe that brought people together to answer the question; how do you give and seek refuge?

“Our responses to refugees must be grounded in our shared values of responsibility sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights and in international refugee law, including the principle of non-refoulement.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Supported by an extensive Six Seconds facilitator’s kit, volunteers from over 65 countries held discussions with over 20,000 people about empathy, refugees, and our own feelings of seeking and giving refuge. The event was co-sponsored by UNHCR.

This was an opportunity to increase inclusion, compassion, optimism, and to unite people instead of divide them. The project included three parts: “chalkboard conversation” experiences to raise awareness, dialog sessions, and online sharing to create a “virtual quilt” in honor of those seeking and giving refuge today.

The Seeking Refuge campaign was about the shared human experience of displacement and acceptance.

Here are some images and stories from this amazing collaborative dialog:

From From Bismark Awalenga, Lorenz Wolf Junior High School in the Tema East, Ghana 

Ghana SR 2

“A number of students shared their experience in seeking and giving refuge. Some of them described a moment in their life when they felt sad, angry,lonely,scared, etc. that sounded very touching.”

“Displacement of people is not by choice but it’s by circumstance,so we have to help each other”-Isaac (Student )‪

Students from around the globe wrote letters to refugees as part of “Project Fuel”.

Project Fuel SR 2

Saudi Arabia Ramadan Food Delivery copy

In Saudi Arabia: Six Seconds preferred partner, Doroob, under the direction of Solafa Batterjee, organized a volunteer food delivery drive for refugees. “our ambassadors initiated “Refugees Among Us:in which volunteers packed and deliver Ramadan food Baskets to the refugees in multiple shelters for elderly women and a village near Jeddah.”

WalesIn Wrexham, North Wales, we linked with the Seeking Refuge initiative by running a series of workshops exploring the fears and insecurities of migrants arriving in a new country. This work was conducted with a group of twenty 7-11 year olds who come together to explore social issues as District-14 Community Youth Drama Company. Our final workshop took place on the same day as the UK’s EU referendum, the culmination of an ugly campaign which distorted truth, especially on the issue of immigration, and has left the electorate, on both sides of the debate, angry at the conduct of too many of its elected representatives. Reassuringly, the young people in this community drama group speak with open minds and hearts, and with bucket loads of empathy and compassion. I attach a series of images from the workshops with great pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to share. ?❤️ the-learning-collective.com

From Pakistan

Pakistan SR 2“The response was overwhelming. Dr Shazia Nauman linked Seeking Refuge with Emotional Intelligence and discussed how empathy can help us understand each others’ feelings and emotions.The occasion was graced by Chairman Red Crescent Dr Saeed Elahi who shared his experience of various refugee and IDPs projects with the young youth. Certificates of participation were also distributed. Thank you Saif for making it a success!”

Pakistan SR 7Dr. Shazia Nauman

From India:

Here is another session on “Seeking Refuge” at Arya Cambridge International School

The most AHA-HA moment when one of the student, “today i could open my feelings”
Terrific Creativity by student of standard 8th and 9th student.
My favorite, “How Empathy can lead to LEADERSHIP”
Awesome reflections by students on BIG Questions
Enhanced Empathy! Enhanced Emotional Intelligence.
– Vijay Sonawane

India

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Vietnam- Stephen Khor writes: “At last completed my 3rd session in honoring UN World Refugee Day at Binh Duong Binh An Water. Exciting!”

Stephen Khor SR 4

From Enahoro Okhae, Lagos, Nigeria

World Refuge Day in Lagos Nigeria

Parents of schoolchildren in Italy participate in “Seeking Refuge”

Parents of a Primary School in Italy  SR2

From Santiago, Dominican Republic

Santiago DR

For more information on the “Seeking Refuge” project, please see: http://6sec.org/refuge

Six Seconds is grateful to UHNCR for co-sponsoring these events worldwide.

Rachel Goodman

Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and communications professional, editor, producer, and writer for effective outcomes. Ms. Goodman has been a radio producer for much of her career, specializing in short features and documentaries. Some of her work includes Southern Songbirds: the Women of Early Country Music, Pastures of Plenty: A History of California's Farmworkers, and The Boomtown Chronicles: Reflections on a Changing California. Ms. Goodman teaches journalism at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. Her goals are to facilitate positive change in the world through effective communication, and to continue conducting her work with the highest level of integrity possible.

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