Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Young Kiwis become refugees

For immediate release

17 October 2011

Young Kiwis become refugees

Finding their families at night while bombs drop around them, having to quickly choose which belongings to take before setting off on an endless trek, and navigating border crossings with hostile guards; New Zealand's most generous young leaders today found out what the beginning of the ordeal is like for hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world.

The World Vision and Sanitarium Scholarship Week kicked off in Auckland today with an in-depth simulation experience based on the plight of refugees currently fleeing fighting in the south of Sudan.

The simulation was based on information from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and World Vision field staff, including Briony Stevens, a nutrition specialist, who has just returned from helping to set up health programmes at the camps for these refugees in neighbouring Ethiopia.

"Refugees, the majority of whom are women and children, have reported fleeing conflict in Sudan by travelling for up to 25 days, often surviving on nothing but wild foods and generosity" explained Briony.

"I think it is important for kiwis to partake in a simulation like this to get a deeper understanding of what it feels like to be a refugee, to experience the absolute vulnerability and the realisation that there is no one there to help."

According to the secondary school students the activity was a great learning experience.

"I don't think that before this I really understood the confusion, the mental side. It had never registered that there would be language barriers filling in forms," said Shelby Taylor of Christchurch Girls High.

"I felt confusion, had no idea what would happen next, and felt fear. Refugees feel the same but a million times worse," said Amber Young of St Oran's College in Wellington.

Some words that were used to describe how they felt were: fearful, anxious, unsure, confused, powerless, pressured, frustrated; all feelings commonly reported by refugees.

Over the rest of the week students will gain an understanding of development work, leadership and multiculturalism through different activities.

Highlights include completing a community mapping exercise in an Auckland suburb to identify needs, hearing from leading New Zealand speakers, meeting World Vision celebrity ambassadors Ido Drent (Shortland Street) and Drew Neemia (TV4's Drew and Shannon Live) - who got to view World Visions work first-hand in East Timor earlier this year.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels