16:09 GMT19 January 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    High school students from the French town of Embrun, Hautes-Alpes, were subjected to a firsthand experience of what it is to be a refugee, the French journal Mediapart reported.

    Lionel Liron, a teacher of history and geography at a local high school in Embrun, organized a 24-hour-long trip during which students experience conditions very similar to those faced by refugees.

    Seventy-three high school students took part in the refugee experience. The objective of the project was to teach students about the hardships and constant difficulties refugees face in Europe on a daily basis, the journal said.

    "The goal is to highlight difficulties and all the obstacles that these people [refugees] face and we're doing maximum to understand human, psychological, economic and physical difficulties that they [refugees] feel," Liron said, as cited by Mediapart.

    The immersion into the refugee experience starts with packing a sleeping bag, water, identity papers and a map for orientation. Then, the students are forced to march 20 km during which they face armed militia, police, learn how to build a hut and negotiate with smugglers.

    "I think my students will understand the essence [of what it is to be a refugee]," Liron said.

    This is the excellent project to teach young people about conditions faced by refugees and more schools across France should take up the initiative, the French journal said.

    Seeking to bring more sympathy and understanding to the fate of refugees, Norway has tried a similar initiative in the past. A Norwegian organization set up school trips during which children were put under similar conditions as refugees for a day, so they could learn firsthand about what it was like to be a refugee trying to flee from war zones to Europe.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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    Tags:
    school trips, learning, refugees, Lionel Liron, Embrun, France
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