I was watching breakfast TV news this morning (as you do, when you are retired … ) which contained a segment about refugees that included an excellent animation. I thought this could be a really helpful resource that geography teachers might like to use in their classrooms.
The 4 minute animation tells the full story of 14 year old Ruth, describing her life in Eritrea, and why she made the difficult decision to leave her home country as she faced the limited choices of getting married (to an older adult) or joining the military. The story goes on to describe her arduous journey across Africa and into Europe, and then what happened to her when she eventually arrived in the UK.
The animation film, and further information can be found on the BBC Newsround site:
This is a powerful resource that could be used in the classroom in a number of ways. It would support any work on refugees or migration, and could be given to students as a series of pictures and/or statements to sequence. Alternatively, it could be given out in class without a commentary – for students to research and script. Another possibility might be to offer it in part, with the students completing the story in their own words and pictures.
Tablet users might like to ask the students to use the same style to crystalise other geographical issues – either using simple animation software (like ‘I Motion’) or comic strip style, using software like Comic Life, Comics Head or Book Creator.
Ruth is just one of three thousand children who found their way to the UK last year alone – travelling thousands of miles across dangerous deserts, mountains and seas to escape war, devastation or other difficult circumstances in their home countries. Arriving refugee children under the age of 17 are given leave to remain in the UK, which means they can stay here and will be looked after until they are old enough to look after themselves. This often means they are placed with a foster family who look after them as though they are part of their family. They can then start going to a local school and they can start to make a life for themselves here in the UK. Many of these children stay around Kent and Dover in the south of England because that is where they first arrive. In the past year Kent has placed nearly 1,000 children in homes in that area.