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Refugee simulation helps students encounter, learn, and advocate

Our Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors developed a program called Refugees Seeking Safety to help our Cabrini University community learn about the experience of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. As participants take on the background of a young refugee attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, they experience the difficulties faced. Throughout the simulation we discuss the causes of current youth migration, and we explore the reality of detention, deportation, and family reunification. After the simulation, using a Catholic social teaching framework, we invite participants to reflect on and pray for the young migrants and for wisdom on how to respond to the complex situation. Finally, we offer participants opportunities to advocate for policy change to assist Central American countries to improve socioeconomic conditions, and to create more just and dignified treatment of unaccompanied minors in our own country. We have also begun using the simulation model to educate our community about climate change and Syrian refugees.