An awareness game confronting the plight of refugees

An awareness game confronting the plight of refugees
Passages
An awareness game
confronting
the plight of refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Passages
UNHCR’s new educational tool
A simulation game designed to create a better understanding
of the problems of refugees
THE REFUGEE TRAGEDY
As long as there have been wars, persecution, discrimination and intolerance, there have been
refugees. They are of every race and religion and can be found in every part of the world. Forced
to flee out of fear for their lives and liberty, they have often left everything behind, experienced
terrible suffering and been separated from their families. In refugee camps they will find safety, but the living conditions are grim. In their asylum country, refugees are often victims of xenophobia. If, after years of exile, they are finally able to return home, their return is often to
a country shattered by war.
THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a nonpolitical, humanitarian
agency devoted to protecting and assisting the world’s refugees. Currently, the UNHCR is helping over 27 million people who have sought refuge from persecution or armed conflict, or who
are trying to return home. The first priority of UNHCR is to protect these people. Today, xenophobic tendencies threaten the centuries-old tradition of granting asylum. As a result, protecting refugees also involves explaining to the public exactly who refugees are and what they have
been through. It is essential that people understand that refugees are not a threat to them, but are
themselves threatened.
RAISING AWARENESS AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
An essential aspect of our efforts to create public awareness is the promotion of refugee issues among young people. For several years, and in many countries, we have been working with
teachers and youth organizations to develop materials such as posters, educational kits, brochures and videos aimed at improving general understanding of the refugee experience.
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WHY A GAME?
Games are one of the best methods to help people understand phenomena which are complex
and far removed from their everyday lives. A game allows participants to experience emotions
in a very personal and enduring manner, but on a smaller scale than in real life.
WHY A SIMULATION GAME?
A simulation game works through the creation of a simplified but dynamic scale model of
reality. It is an effective way of allowing people to live and feel a remote situation. This particular game is designed to help create awareness, arouse emotions and encourage participants to
take action on behalf of refugees. A simulation game is better than a full-scale reenactment
which could be too brutal and have traumatizing effects on certain young people... some of
whom may be refugees themselves.
WHAT DOES «PASSAGES» INVOLVE?
By playing the game «Passages», participants will...
... discover the concrete problems which confront refugees.
... feel the psychological anguish caused by separation and flight.
... see what forces people into refugee situations and the train of events that brings them to refugee camps and beyond.
... think about possible solutions to refugee problems, particularly with regards to integration
within the country of asylum and repatriation to the country of origin.
... adopt a more welcoming attitude towards refugees in their own countries.
... become motivated to undertake actions on behalf of refugees.
«Passages» can be played in various situations:
- with young people of different ages and ethnic backgrounds;
- with groups of different sizes;
- with schools groups, youth organizations, community groups, etc.;
- both indoors and outdoors.
We hope you will find «Passages» to be an effective educational tool.
Prepared by Chantal Barthélémy-Ruiz, Benoît Carpier and Nadia Clément (Argine consultants-Paris)
for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
©1995
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Passages
An Awareness Game Confronting the Plight of Refugees
TABLE OF CONTENTS
• Part I. Game Leader's Dossier
- Preparation for the Game Leader
1. Personal Experience
2. Documentation
3. Overview of the Game
4. Group Organization
5. Space Management
6. Duration of the Game
7. How to be a Game Leader
8. Summary of Documents Used by the Game Leader
- Necessary Materials
- Overall Game Plan Memo
- Game Leader's Family Summary
p. 5
p. 6
p. 6
p. 8
p. 8
p. 10
p. 10
p. 11
p. 11
p. 14
p. 15
p. 17
p. 20
• Part II. Game Modules
- Family Set-up (Game Module # 1)
- Escape and Separation (Game Module # 2)
- Emergency Supply Case (Game Module # 3)
- Temporary Shelter (Game Module # 4)
- Deciding to Leave your Country (Game Module # 5)
- Border Crossing (Game Module # 6)
- Setting Up Camp (Game Module # 7)
- The Family Spokesman (Game Module # 8)
. Password Codes
- Meeting the Local Population (Game Module # 9)
- Repatriation (Game Module # 10)
- Final Debriefing
- Farewell Game
p. 21
p. 22
p. 24
p. 26
p. 27
p. 29
p. 30
p. 32
p. 34
p. 35
p. 36
p. 38
p. 40
p. 42
• Attachments: Player Documents
. Family Game Sheet
. Family Data Sheets
. S.O.S. Cards
. Event Cards
(Game 3)
. Emergency Supply Case - Player Guidelines (Game 3)
. Event Cards
(Game 4)
. Event Cards
(Game 5)
. Event Cards
(Game 6)
. Identification Form
(Game 6)
. Lists of Available Supplies (Game 7)
. The Family Spokesman - Player Guidelines (Game 8)
. Password Cards
(Game 8)
. Item Cards
(Game10)
. “How do you feel now?” sheet (Final Debriefing)
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Part I
Game Leader's
Dossier
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GAME LEADER'S DOSSIER
The purpose of this game is to create awareness of the difficulties experienced by refugees as they
flee their homes and countries towards an uncertain future.
It is essential that you, as the game leader, have some prior knowledge of these difficulties and
the emotions they provoke. As a first step in your preparation, therefore, we propose that you go
through some short experiments, in order to give you “personal” experience. As a second step,
we have provided you with a few suggested readings. Finally, you will be guided through the
different elements of the game, including how to be a game leader and how to prepare the
necessary materials.
Preparation for the Game Leader
1. Personal Experience
This step should be completed at least one day in advance.
1.1. The notion of time
• Sit down in a place where you will not be disturbed and blindfold yourself.
• Stay there for 5 minutes; do not count or use any artificial means of telling time. Use your own
judgement and intuition.
• Take off the blindfold and check your watch.
• Think about how you felt with the blindfold on and write it down. How does it feel to sit in the
dark, with no way to measure time and nothing to do but wait?
The point of this exercise: A refugee may have to spend several hours hidden in darkness, afraid
of being discovered and killed. Unlike you, who have undergone this experience voluntarily, he/
she is terrorized by a situation that has been forced on him/her.
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1.2. Taking orders
• Imagine that you are deprived of your autonomy. In other words, you are no longer allowed to
make decisions for yourself. Your right to come and go, and to take care of your most basic needs,
are all subject to someone else’s authorization (standing up, walking, going to the toilet, drinking,
eating, talking, etc.).
• Try to feel what it might be like to be restricted in this way. Imagine how you would react. Not
only has your freedom been taken away but people are constantly giving you orders, making you
work, pushing you around, interrupting you ... and no one listens to you.
The point of this exercise: To help you understand the stress that a refugee feels during his or her
flight and to make you aware of the stress that your actions and attitudes may provoke among the
players during the simulation game.
1.3. Shackled
• Having to obey orders all the time is like being shackled. You are forced to do things without
knowing why. Walk around for 2 or 3 minutes holding your right ear with your left hand and your
left ankle with your right hand.
• How does it feel to be forced to do this?
The point of this exercise: Think about what you have just experienced for these few minutes.
Refugees live under this kind of constraint for hours, months, even years.
1.4. Loss
• Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. Equip yourself with a pen and paper.
• Try to remember a situation when you experienced a feeling of loss. Perhaps it was a cherished
object, a place you loved to visit, a favorite pet or a loved one ....
• Let all the memories and emotions associated with the loss come back to you. Write them down,
so that later you can reread what you were feeling and evaluate the importance of these personal
experiences.
• Think over your own experience of loss and consider how it must feel to be deprived of all those
things or people to which or to whom you attach great importance.
The point of this exercise: Many refugees lose absolutely everything: their country, their home,
their friends, their family. Try to understand the pain they must feel.
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2. Documentation
We suggest you consult publications distributed by the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, particularly the brochure “Refugee Children” where you will find personal accounts
of refugee children and the magazine called “Refugees”. You could also try to find some
biographies of refugees. Get in touch with local organizations supporting refugees both
materially and legally. By listening to refugees or to people who work with them, you will get a
more concrete idea of a variety of refugee situations and of what refugees have to go through.
Then try to answer the following questions:
What are your impressions of the train of events confronting the refugees? Which emotions do
you think are most common for refugees at different stages of their experience?
Try to identify in a few words the various stages they go through (the trigger event, the decision
to leave, etc.).
By defining the different stages of the refugee experience, you will have taken an important step
in understanding this simulation game. The game itself will be carried out in stages identical to
the series of situations endured by real-life refugees. Each stage corresponds to a game module,
which will be outlined below.
3. Overview of the Game
Read this section carefully. It will help you understand the structure of the game and will serve
as a preparation base for the «Final Debriefing» and for responding to questions from the
players.
Some terrible event or situation (war, civil war, persecution, famine...) has forced men, women
and children to leave their homes and villages. The players in this game will follow the route of
these people, adopting their roles and experiencing all the trials they face from the time they
originally escape to the time they go back home.
The players are first grouped into “families” and they must familiarize themselves with their
imaginary roles and backgrounds (Game Module #1, “Family Set-Up”).
They then scatter themselves around and go through the experience of escape and separation
from their home, friends and perhaps their family by playing a game that simulates a situation in
which people are fleeing a bombardment (Game Module #2, “Escape and Separation”).
Before leaving home, most refugees must decide what to take with them. They usually have only
a few minutes to decide what is - or will be - most important to them. Game Module #3
(“Emergency Supply Case”) helps show the players how difficult this choice can be.
The journey to the country of asylum is rarely made in one day and it is usually made in several
stages. On the way, refugees often must spend several nights in extremely difficult conditions,
characterized by fatigue and overcrowding. This situation is simulated in Game Module #4
(“Temporary Shelter”).
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Refugees leave their countries because they are forced to do so. Nevertheless, the decision to go
into exile is a difficult one, fraught with periods of doubt and questioning. Refugees think about
what they are leaving behind and they wonder what awaits them across the border. These are the
kinds of questions that the players will have to ask themselves in Game Module #5 (“Deciding
to Leave Your Country”).
These days, most refugees flee their homes as part of a mass exodus across land. For example,
one-third of the world’s current refugees are in Africa, having crossed neighboring borders by the
thousands. This is the case of most refugees, who succeeded in finding asylum in a neighboring
country even when it is impossible for the authorities to interview them individually all as they
enter.
The exodus itself, the effort to cross the border, can be very physically demanding. Game Module
#6 (“Border Crossing”) contains, therefore, an aspect of physical challenge for the players. It also
teaches an awareness of the problems refugees face when they are required to fill out
identification forms in a language they do not know (assuming, of course, that they are literate).
After crossing the border, many refugees must settle down and live in camps. Humanitarian aid
helps provide water, food, shelter and first aid. But life in these camps is harsh. Game Module #7
helps the players understand some of the frustrations felt by refugees who find themselves in a
camp situation.
These last two games demonstrate the route taken by a large number of refugees ... that is, a
journey across their own country to find refuge in a camp just over the border. It is also important
to recognize the special problems faced by those who seek asylum in countries with strict entry
procedures, such as those in force in most industrialized countries. Refugees in this situation
must go through a series of interviews with the authorities of the host country. These can prove
to be very difficult tests. Refugees must explain why they are asking for asylum, often without
knowing what the criteria for acceptance are. In Game Module #8 (“The Family Spokesman”),
players must think about what kind of attitude to adopt in order to convince the authorities to let
them into the country, even temporarily.
For asylum-seekers who are granted refugee status and therefore have the right to stay in their
host country, there are still more challenges to overcome. They often do not know the local
language and as a result have trouble communicating and integrating with the local population.
The object of Game Module #9 (“Contact with the local population”) is to raise awareness of
these problems.
There are three lasting solutions to the plight of refugees and it is part of the UNHCR mandate
to work towards the most suitable of the three: voluntary repatriation to the refugees’ home
country; integration into the first country of asylum; or resettlement of refugees in a third
country. The vast majority of refugees want to go back home one day, even when the living
conditions that await them are very difficult. Game module #10 demonstrates some of the
problems encountered by refugees when they go home, particularly the problem of land mines
which might still be scattered around the countryside.
The “Final Debriefing” allows participants to express how they felt throughout the game and will
give you a chance to make links between what the players have experienced and the reality of
refugees’ experiences. This is a time for questions and discussion.
Finally, “The Game of Farewells” concludes by helping recreate a feeling of unity within the
group. It should put a smile on everyone’s face and help the players come out of their roles as
refugees.
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Caution
Having experimented with some of the different game situations and having read the refugees’
testimonies, you should by now be aware of the nature and intensity of emotions that a refugee
often feels (for example anger, fear, anxiety, abandonment, shame, betrayal, defeat, alternating
periods of hope and despair). If you happen to have some refugees in your group, you must be
particularly careful with them. It is not advisable to have them participate in simulation situations
that might cause psychological shock.
Of course, if you notice any player refusing to participate in a given simulation or showing
apprehension with regards to certain aspects of the game, do not hesitate to encourage that person
to wait until the next game, if he or she desires.
Furthermore, make sure before beginning the game that your participants know they may each
use their “SOS” card at any time should they feel too uncomfortable to continue (see Game
Module #1, “Family Set-Up”).
4. Group Organization
This game is organized into separate modules so that it may be changed to meet different needs.
Ideally it should be played by between 15 and 67 players. The game leader will select the number
and type of family groups to be used, according to the number of players, by selecting from
among 11 different Family Data sheets.
4.1. For a group of under 15 players
Select families “B”, “G”, “M” and “T” from among the Family Data sheets. These four families
have very different backgrounds and their stories evoke the most “typical” refugee situations.
Using them will help create a more dynamic game.
4.2. For a group of 15 to 67 players
The game leaders decide on the choice of families (be sure to include families B, G, M and T. See
4.1). Make sure you combine families of 5, 6, 7 or 8 people, according to the exact number of
players.
Note: if you have more than 67 people, we advise that you double up certain families or, even
better, break up the group into two sub-groups who will play the game separately.
5. Space Management
This game can be played indoors or outdoors but you need a space at least as large as a
gymnasium. If possible, it is best to play outside (in a field or park).
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6. Duration of the Game
The game takes about half a day, about 3 to 3½ hours of play and then another half-hour for
debriefing. If possible, the debriefing period should be separated from the game by a snack break.
The 3 hour duration is intended to allow participants to become aware of the different stages of
the refugee experience and of the emotions felt by real-life refugees, without experiencing
negative feedback. However, if you do not have enough time for the full-length game, we suggest
a 2 hour game with 15 to 20 minutes of debriefing.
For the abridged version, you can choose between 2 different sequences, depending on whether
you want to emphasize a mass exodus situation and life in a refugee camp (the situation of many
of the world’s refugees) or problems faced by refugees who seek asylum in countries where there
is a long and difficult administrative process for granting refugee status, as in most industrialized
nations. You may do one of the following sequences and still have a comprehensive game:
• Family Set-Up
• Escape and Separation
• Temporary Shelter
• Border Crossing
or
• The Family Spokesman
• Setting Up Camp
• Contact with the Local Population
• Final Debriefing
In the long version, you can do all the game modules. During the debriefing you should explain
that there is not a direct link between the camp situation and the ordeal of the spokesman. Some
refugees never go though the procedure of individual interviews and wait for years in the same
camp before they can go back to their countries. Others never stay in a refugee camp and arrive
directly in a country in which they have to go through various procedures and interviews with the
local authorities to obtain asylum.
7. How to be a Game Leader
Depending on the number of game leaders available and depending on the competencies of the
game leaders, you can lead the game in two different ways.
7. 1. “External”game leading
If you can only have one or two game leaders, it is advisable to share the tasks as follows: one
leader “leads”, i.e. he reads the “Contexts”, gives orders, the other “assists”, i.e. he distributes the
documents, check the preparation of the various sites, keeps an eye on the time during the games,
helps the players in certain games (in the first game for example, the leaders can visit the various
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groups and help them choose their names, their roles etc.). For groups of more than 15 persons
however, more game leaders may be needed.
Number of game leaders...
For a group of under 15 players: 2
For a group of 15 to 30 players: 3 is best, although possible with 2
For a group of 30 to 67 players: 4 or 5.
Style...
In this game, your role as leader is essential, albeit unusual. For it to be successful, you must adopt
a cold and closed attitude towards your players, using a very dry leadership style. Needless to say,
you will have to explain the rules of the game to the participants, but you must at the same time
create a climate of tension and even (at times) repression. For example, during the game, when
you assign families spots where they must go to fill out the Family Game Sheet, you must insist
that the players do not move from that spot. Use a whistle regularly when giving orders; this will
help create the kind of difficult and uncomfortable environment in which refugees live. In the
same way, if a player leaves his or her family to go elsewhere, firmly remind that person to return
to the designated group.
To further demonstrate the necessity of using a “hard and strict” leadership style, we give you
another example: during the waiting periods, players will ask you why they must wait and they
will say that they are getting annoyed and bored. This is exactly the response the game is designed
to provoke. You should not give them any explanation. Rather, you should respond, “You’ll find
out later! Wait your turn! You’re not the only one here! I make the decisions here!”
Speak in short, direct sentences. Never give explanations except those absolutely necessary to
understand the rules of the game. When you are giving instructions, do not repeat yourself once
you are sure that at least a few of the players have heard and understood you.
You will find that adopting such an attitude is not at all easy in practice, especially in the context
of a game. But the more you use this leadership style, the more instructive the game will be and
the closer you will come to meeting the game’s objectives.
Game...
In this role-playing game, participants will “experience” a refugee situation. They must wait
(temporary shelters), move without knowing where they are going (escape), fill out documents
(game sheets, debriefing sheets, camp residence forms), walk (crossing the border) .... You will
be guiding them through the several stages which simulate those that refugees typically
experience. To do this, you must first read carefully how each game or module proceeds and you
must follow the rules and guidelines in their exact order. You also have “Event cards” which will
be chosen by the players at appropriate times (always one card per family). These will either help
the individual families by making their situation clearer or else they will make the conditions of
the game more difficult. For example, a card may say, “During your escape, the head of your
family got shot in the leg and can no longer walk without help.” You must make sure that all
information given on the cards is incorporated into the game: in the case just cited, the player
designated as the head of that family would have to simulate a limp!
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7. 2. “Participative” game leading
The feelings experienced by the participants can be even stronger if the game leaders actually
play a role (or several roles) during the game. However, you need at least 4 game leaders even
for a small group. After having read carefully the game sheets, the game leaders can create and
share roles such as the “SOLDIER”, the “REFUGEE”, the “BORDER OFFICIAL”, the “FIRST AID PERSON”,
the “TRANSLATOR”... Excepted in the first part of the game, there is no “GAME LEADER” as such
throughout the game in this version of the game.
It is of course up to you to decide on the roles and on their contents depending on the time you
have, the game modules you have chosen to follow and the number of game leaders available.
What you will find below is just an example of how you can define roles (in a game consisting
of games 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7).
Games 1 and 2: No specific roles. One game leader presents the game and gives the orders. The
others help the participants to choose their roles and then to blindfold themselves.
Game 4: As the players take the blindfolds off, another “REFUGEE” appears (the game leader
playing this role can be dressed with old clothes or wrapped in old scarves). He explains to the
players that they are in danger, that they have to flee this place, that the bombing can start again
any time. He advises them to follow him towards the temporary shelter. On way to the shelter, he
can increase the tension and feeling of fear by shouting “Another plane! Get down!,” or by having
the players crawl on the ground, run, stop and run again. In the shelter, the “REFUGEE” waits with
the players. A “SOLDIER” walks outside the shelter. The players do not know whether he is a friend
or an enemy. After a while (at least 8 minutes) the soldier goes away. The “REFUGEE” encourages
the players to leave the shelter and to try to cross the border.
Game 6: On the way towards the border, the «REFUGEE» is injured. The players have to help him
to cross. The “REFUGEE” insists on the danger (the players must not touch the rope, the tins
hanging may be mines etc.). Across the border stands a “BORDER OFFICIAL” who speaks in an
unknown language. He orders them to group into families and to sit here or there and distributes
identity sheets, still with no other explanations than the ones he gives in his strange language and
with his gestures. A “FIRST AID PERSON” arrives and distributes band-aids to the injured. This
person does not speak the refugees’ language either. When the identity sheets are completed , the
“BORDER OFFICIAL” calls for a “TRANSLATOR”.
Game 7: The “TRANSLATOR” explain that families have to make a list of their needs, taking into
account the materials available mentioned on the list. The “BORDER OFFICIAL” as well as a «local
official» go from one family to another, still speaking in their unknown language. They pick up
the lists, go to a “warehouse” to get the materials requested and come back with the new
(shortened) list of supplies. Then, they go back to the “warehouse” and come back explaining that
everything has been stolen. It is always the translator who gives the explanations in the refugees’
language.
You can of course create other roles, corresponding to the rest of the game modules. The most
important is for the game leaders to play their roles truly and actively. Some game leaders will
have to assume several roles each. The clothes they wear will have to be differentiated enough
to avoid any ambiguities for the participants.
In this version of the game, it is obviously advisable not to ask the participants to fill in the
“Family game sheets” during the game. These sheets can be distributed at the end and filled in
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by the “families” as a first part of the final debriefing. This helps the participants to remain in their
roles throughout the game. You will also have to adapt your interventions (“Context” sections to
be read aloud for example) to this style of leading the game.
The “participative” style of game leadearship demands more preparation and more commitment
on the part of the game leaders, but it allows participants to be more involved in their roles. If you
choose this kind of game leading, do not hesitate to seek advice from theatre actors. If game
leaders do not actually play their roles, it will be difficult for them to demand of the participants
that they stay in their roles throughout the game.
8. Summary of Documents Used by the Game Leader
• The game leader’s “Family Summary” sheet and “Overall Game-Plan Memo”.
• The “Summary of Materials to Prepare”.
Before the game starts, you must make copies of all the documents and cards you will need and
you must prepare some other materials. Besides planning the game, therefore, be sure to set aside
extra time for this task. Moreover, if you are unfamiliar with the space where you will be playing
the game, take time to check it out and decide exactly how you will organize the terrain
(temporary shelter and the border post).
• “Game Module” sheets (numbered from 1 to 10), the “Final Debriefing” sheet and the “Game
of Farewells” sheet. These may have accompanying documents to hand out to
the players at the appropriate time. They all use the following format:
- name and number of the stage;
- objective: to explain the point of the game;
- preparation: to be done before the game starts;
- time management: the time limits indicated have been chosen to create
a specific atmosphere;
- leading the game: a step-by-step approach for you to follow in order to meet
the objectives outlined at the beginning;
- context: to be read out to the players as indicated;
- debriefing: how to organize it and what guidelines to give to the players.
• “Event” cards (to be cut out) which accompany certain modules and which refer to particular
situations occurring throughout the game.
• “SOS”, “Item” and “Password” cards (to be cut out) which accompany certain modules.
• “Family Data” sheets (11 different ones, each briefly describing the family biography) that you
will select and distribute, one per family.
• “Family Game Sheet” (3 pages), to be kept by each family throughout the whole game and to
be filled out periodically during the intermediary debriefings.
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Necessary Materials
To run the game you will need:
• all your game module sheets and cards;
• your Family Summary Sheet and Overall Game-Plan Memo;
• a whistle;
• a stopwatch or wristwatch;
• a megaphone (electronic or not);
• scissors;
• a pen;
• a folder to keep all the game documents handy and in order throughout the game.
Also prepare the following material:
• Family set-up
- a ball of string and different colored felt pens. Prepare these according to the instructions in
Game Module #1.
- “SOS” cards (1 per player);
- copies of the chosen Family Data sheets (marked with their individual colors) and Family Game
Sheets, according to the number of participants and families chosen. Each family needs only one
data sheet and one Family Game Sheet;
- a piece of cardboard and a clothes-pegs for each family, to be used to make a clipboard for their
documents;
- two pencils or pens per family;
- dark-colored cloth strips to be used as scarves and blindfolds, one per person in the color of the
designated family;
• Escape and separation
- blindfolds (already distributed);
- whistle
- megaphone
• Emergency supply case
- one “Player Guidelines” sheet per family;
• Temporary shelter
- the corresponding “Event” cards;
- something to mark out the required area (such as stakes and string if you are outside, or chairs,
tables and scotch tape if you are indoors);
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• Deciding to leave your country
- the corresponding “Event” cards;
• Border crossing
- a plan/map of how you will set up the border;
- supplies to set up the border (6 small stakes or pickets, a hammer, 15 to 20 meters of string and
anything that can be used to make a lot of noise, such as empty tin cans);
- the corresponding “Event” cards;
- photocopies of the corresponding identification form (one per player);
• Setting up camp
- 1 piece of paper per family;
- photocopies of the 2 corresponding lists of supplies available to refugees;
- watch or stopwatch;
• The family spokesman
- the “Password” cards;
- one set of guidelines per family;
- a rubber stamp with ink;
• Meeting the local population
- small pieces of cardboard where you will write the messages which the players will have to
communicate;
• Repatriation
- photocopies of the accompanying “Item” cards;
- if possible, glue the game cards onto cardboard squares or old playing cards;
• Final debriefing
- photocopies of the “HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?” sheets (one per player);
- a suggestion box and blank sheets of paper;
- if possible, a large paper board.
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Overall Game-Plan Memo
(for the game leader)
Give a very brief introduction to the game. Then use the following game-plan to guide you.
1. Family make-up (20-25 minutes)
• read out the context of the game (with strings in hand)
• the players should divide into groups (5 minutes)
• have the groups read and fill out the Family Data sheets (15-20 minutes)
• pass out the Family Game Sheet, the SOS cards, pens, clipboards and scarfs (to be used as
blindfolds).
2. Escape and separation (15-20 minutes)
• have the players put on their blindfolds
• spread them out on the playing field
• tell them the safety rules for this module
• read the context of the game
• start the game
•Debriefing for game #2 (5 minutes)
3. Emergency supply case (5-7 minutes)
• hand out the regulation sheets
• put together the emergency supply cases
• DISTRIBUTE THE CORRESPONDING “EVENT” CARDS
4. Temporary shelter (15 minutes)
• spread the families out
• DISTRIBUTE THE CORRESPONDING “EVENT” CARDS
• read out the context
• settle the families into the shelter
• leave them inside the shelter for 10-15 minutes without explanation
• Debriefing for game #4 (7-10 minutes)
17
5. Deciding to leave your country (15 minutes)
• DISTRIBUTE THE CORRESPONDING “EVENT” CARDS
• read out the context
• have the families discuss their decision and fill out the corresponding section on the Family
Game Sheet
6. Border crossing (10-20 minutes)
• read out the context
• have them fill out the identification forms
• have them cross the border and run identification checks on each family
• if there are any errors, make them start again
• DISTRIBUTE THE CORRESPONDING “EVENT” CARDS
7. Setting up camp (15-20 minutes)
• have the families regroup
• read out the context
• give out the materials and copies of the first supply list
• 5 minutes later give out the second supply list
• 3 minutes later collect the documents
• announce that there is nothing left except water
• Debriefing for game #7 (10 minutes)
8. The family spokesman (25-30 minutes)
• give out the regulation form
• give the families 10-15 minutes to prepare for the interview
• interview each family spokesman (2 minutes each)
• give out a “Password” card, if necessary
• give 5-10 minutes for families to respond to the “Password” cards
9. Meeting the local population (10 minutes)
• read out the context
18
• separate the players into pairs
• distribute the messages and start the game
• Debriefing for game #9 (7-8 minutes)
10. Repatriation (5-10 minutes)
• lay the game cards out on the floor face down
• read out the context
• blow the whistle after 10 minutes to signify the end of the game
FINAL DEBRIEFING (about 30 minutes)
• review the intermediary debriefings, if you have time
• hand out the “HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?” sheets
• collect the responses and then form new groups
• Brainstorm
• Get feedback and sum up
FAREWELL GAME
19
20
Family
chosen
Family
color
Number of players: ..............
Date : ......................................
Number of
people in the
family
Name chosen
Characteristics
Game Leader's Family Summar y
"Event" cards chosen
Part II
Game
Modules
21
FAMILY SET-UP
Game Module #1
This module is very important, as it creates the basis for the organization of teams and the
assigning of individual roles to the players.
Objective
To group the players randomly to create the “families” who will participate in the game and to
familiarize the players with their roles.
Preparation
• Cut some string into equal sections of about 2m each. You will need one string for every 2
players; for families with an odd number of players, the extra person will take a “half-string” of
1m in length.
• Take each string at the centre and hold about 2cm in your fingers. Color that section of each
string with a felt pen, using a different color for each family (for example, if you have one family
of 6 people you would need 3 strings colored red in the center; for another family of 5 you would
need 2 strings colored green in the center, and one “half-string” colored green on one end).
• Mark each “Family Data” sheet with the color corresponding to the colors on each family’s
strings.
• Prepare cloth strips in the same colors as the strings. These will be used as identification scarfs
by the different families, as blindfolds and as arm slings or bandages when an “Event” card
indicates that there has been an injury (one scarf per person).
• Use pieces of cardboard and clothes-pegs to make a clipboard for each family.
• Have some pens or pencils ready, 2 for each family.
Time management
For a group of 20 people you will need about 5 minutes to distribute the strings and Family Data
sheets. Then, the players should have 15 minutes to complete the sheet and think about their
situation before the game really starts. Do not rush this introduction. It is designed to allow the
players enough time to think about how to play their roles. The more thought they put into it, the
higher the level of emotions felt throughout the game.
Leading the game
• Pick up the strings while hiding the colored parts in your hand. Show the bunch of strings to the
players.
22
• Read the context of this game out loud (see below).
• Each player chooses one end of a string. You must not let go of the strings until everyone has
chosen an end.
• Let go of the strings. Players who chose the same colored strings will be part of the same family.
Tell them to go into their groups and hand out the Family Data sheets corresponding to each
color, the pens and the clipboards. Also hand out the colored scarfs so that you can identify the
members of each group.
• Give them 15 minutes to read and fill out the sheets. They must choose imaginary first and last
names and then familiarize themselves with the family background and the reasons why they
have been forced into a refugee situation.
• Give out the photocopied “SOS” cards, one to each player.
Context (to be read aloud)
Before giving out the strings (while you have them in your hand):
“You are going to take part in a simulation game that will help you understand what
refugeesgo through daily.
You may have already been exposed to this type of experience, in which case certain feelings
may resurface, causing emotional discomfort. Please know that you may pull out of the game
at any time if you feel uncomfortable and cannot be helped by the other members of your
group. You can pull out by simply holding up your “SOS” card (which I will distribute). Do not
hesitate to do so if you feel you need to.
During this game you will be a part of a group, or “family”, and each of you will take on a
particular identity. Each family will go through different situations together, while trying to
help each other out. To find the other members of your family, each of you is going to take hold
of one of the ends of these strings. Once everyone has a string in his or her hand, I will let go.
Without letting go, join the person who is holding the other end of your string and find the
others who have strings marked with the same color as you. People with the same colored
strings will join to form a family.”
After you give out the Family Data sheets:
“Now that you have found the other members of your family, you must decide who will play
which role, choose a family name and give yourselves new first names. Then, read your family
history carefully. This will help you get into the shoes of the person whose role you are
playing.”
Debriefing
No debriefing is necessary for this module.
23
ESCAPE AND SEPARATION
Game Module #2
Objective
Blindfolded, separated from their families and spread out across the whole game area, the
participants must find their family members and regroup.
Preparation
Materials
• a whistle
• a megaphone
• blindfolds (use family scarfs)
Location
This game can be played in any kind of area as long as it is large enough:
• 15 to 20 players will require 500 m², about equivalent to two basketball courts;
• 30 players or more will require 1000 m², equivalent to half a football field.
It is very important to choose a space where the blindfolded players will not be in danger, such
as a an open field, a sports field, a recreation ground, a gymnasium or a multi-purpose room. The
play area should be flat, far away from roads, well-defined, presenting no danger around its edges
and it should be relatively free of obstacles such as holes, trees, rocks or anything that could cause
an accident. You should take a complete tour of the terrain before starting the game in order to
verify that it is safe.
Time management
The game should not last more than 15-20 minutes.
Leading the game
• Make sure that everyone has a blindfold.
• Ask everyone to blindfold themselves (and make sure that everyone does).
• Spread the players out over the playing field. Make sure that different family members are well
separated on the field.
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• Read the safety regulations out loud.
• Read the context of the game out loud (use your megaphone, speak slowly and articulate well).
• Give the start signal with the whistle.
• If any player loses his blindfold, accidentally or on purpose, he or she must pull out of this part
of the game and join the game leader to help make sure the game continues safely. The game
starts and ends with the game leader’s whistle.
Caution
Be particularly watchful over the security of the blindfolded players.
Safety regulations (to be read aloud)
• No running.
• Move around carefully, waving your arms gently back and forth so as to avoid hurting your
fellow players.
• If there is a safety problem then I will blow the whistle and everyone is to stand still. You must
then wait until I either resume the game or else stop the game for good.
Context (to be read aloud)
“During a normal family outing to the center of your village, an airplane swoops low over the
rooftops. The tremendous noise startles and frightens you. A few seconds later, a whole
formation of airplanes appears in the distance and attacks the town. A number of bombs
explode and throw debris everywhere. Heavy smoke fills the street where your family happens
to be. People are screaming, running in every direction.
Your family gets separated. It’s impossible to see through the dense smoke that’s stinging your
throat and lungs. You start yelling too, hoping to find your family so that you can all get away
together.
You must find all your family members while keeping your blindfolds on.”
(Blow the whistle to start the game)
Debriefing
When the game ends, the game leader asks the families to go off by themselves and to fill out the
“Escape and Separation” section of their Family Game Sheet.
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EMERGENCY SUPPLY CASE
Game Module #3 -
Objective
To put together an emergency supply case. Each family must decide which items to carry on the
journey (one choice per person).
Preparation
• Make copies of the “Player Guidelines”, one copy for each family;
Time Management
This module should take 5-7 minutes.
Leading the Game
• The players are grouped by family. Hand out the guidelines for this module, face down. They
must remain face down until you give the start signal.
• Each family will have 5 minutes to decide what to take in their emergency supply case (one
object per family member). Everyone must be in agreement as to what is chosen.
• Once all families have chosen their supplies, each family must draw an “Event” card ( ).
• Make sure each family gives up the item indicated on the “Event” card.
Debriefing
No debriefing is necessary.
26
TEMPORARY SHELTER
Game Module #4 -
Objective
To create a situation where the players must adapt to an uncomfortable and difficult environment
(overcrowding, fatigue, ...). They must do what they can to pass the time in the best way possible,
despite the conditions.
Preparation
Materials
You will need materials to mark off an area that will serve as your temporary shelter. You can
use whatever is available (chairs and tables) or you could plant small pickets and link them with
a very visible string or large ribbon.
Setting up
The space you choose is very important, especially in terms of its size. According to your playing
area, find a place that is not very comfortable (families will not find beds or mattresses ...). The
space must be perfectly marked off, or confined, in order to avoid disputes and so that the players
experience some level of real discomfort. You may also decide to cover the space with plastic
sheeting.
For 5 people, the maximum surface should be 2m², for example, a space of 2m by 1m. For 15
people, you would need to mark off a space of 3m by 2m.
To calculate the area you will need, refer to the table below:
15 players: 6m²
40 players: 16m²
20 players: 8m²
45 players: 18m²
25 players: 10m²
50 players: 20m²
30 players: 12m²
55 players: 22m²
35 players: 14m²
60 players: 24m²
Time Management
The game itself should last at least 7 to 8 minutes, if the players organize themselves quickly or
if the shelter does not poseposes problems. In any case, you are advised not to let the game go on
for more than 15 minutes. You should not tell the players how long the game will last.
27
Leading the Game
• Spread the families out across the play area so that they are at least 100m away from the place
you have chosen to be the temporary shelter.
• Make each family draw an “Event” card (
).
• Ask the families to read the cards. They must take into account any injuries or handicaps they
may now have.
• MAKE SURE THEY DO THIS! If someone has a “broken” leg, he or she must limp. If someone
else has a broken arm, the family must make a sling before departing.
• Read the context of the game aloud.
• Show them their temporary shelter.
• Give the signal for them all to head towards the shelter at once.
• Once they are in the shelter they must settle down as if they were spending the night. They
should make themselves as comfortable as possible, while taking into account their injured
family members, young children and elderly people.
• Time their stay in the shelter, leaving them there for a maximum of 15 minutes. Don’t tell them
what is happening and let a climate of tension develop among the players.
Context (to be read aloud)
“Some occurrence has obliged your family to flee from its home but you had to leave without
really knowing which direction to go. One member of your family had an accident along the
way and is now handicapped. You must deal with this situation and help that person along
until you can find a solution for taking care of him or her.
The sun went down an hour ago. You are all exhausted by this traumatic journey and
everything you have gone through. You must find shelter for the night so that you can all get
a bit of rest. You can hardly walk anymore. You are ready to accept any kind of shelter, as long
as the whole family can get inside.
You head towards a place where someone has said you might find shelter.”
Debriefing
• Once you call an end to the game, ask the families to stay where they are and discuss for a few
minutes among themselves what they felt during the game. Ask them to consider the difficulties
that people encounter when they are put in this kind of situation and tell them to write down their
answers on their Family Game Sheet.
• Next, have each player rate the level of difficulty he or she experienced in this situation, on a
scale from 1 to 10 (1 = comfortable, 10 = unbearable).
• One member of each family should note the scores, take an average and record the average in
the appropriate box on the Family Game Sheet.
28
DECIDING TO LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY
Game Module #5 -
Objective
To make the participants realize how difficult it is to decide to leave one’s country.
Preparation
No special preparation is necessary, since the participants are already set up in the temporary
shelter. If you think they are too uncomfortable, they may spread out.
Time Management
This part of the game lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Keep track of time in such a way that the players will
be made to wait after filling out the forms. Having to wait is a common experience of real-life
refugees.
Leading the Game
• After the families have finished debriefing on their experience in the shelter, have them draw
an “Event” card ( ). These cards will tell them to think about their decision to leave the country.
• Read the context out loud.
• The players should stay in their family groupings. They should discuss among themselves the
questions written on the Family Game Sheet in the section called “Deciding to Leave Your
Country”. Give them 10 to 15 minutes to fill out the sheet.
Context (to be read aloud)
“You have just spent the night in a temporary shelter with many other families. It was not at
all restful. Some members of your family are injured, tired ... or even completely exhausted,
demoralized, pessimistic and anxious to know what is going to happen to them. Unfortunately,
you know that it is impossible to go back and you must decide together whether or not to leave
the country. This is a very serious decision that will affect your whole family’s future. You
don’t really know what lies ahead. You have heard that there is a camp on the other side of the
border where refugees can get help organizing themselves. But across the border is the
UNKNOWN. You decide to talk it over as a family, evaluate the advantages as well as the
problems that this decision might entail. Let each family member discuss what he or she hopes
to find on the other side and what he or she is afraid to find.”
Debriefing
Not necessary (just have them fill out the game sheet).
29
BORDER CROSSING
Game Module # 6 -
Objective
To give the players an understanding of the problems faced by refugees when they flee to another
country, particularly when they do not speak the language of the host country and they must
explain their situation in order to be granted asylum.
Preparation
Materials
• one “identification form” per family (the sheet that resembles an official form but the words
make no sense. It is designed so that the players cannot understand it, so they can experience the
language barrier first hand);
• stakes, string and objects that make noise when dangling, such as empty tin cans.
Setting up
It is best if you prepare the border before the beginning of the game so that you won’t have to
worry about it. You should put together a sort of trellis, as seen in the drawing below, that the
players will have to try to cross. Plant about 6 stakes in the ground, no higher than 40cm each.
String them together along the top and attach the cans to the string so that if anyone touches it the
cans will jingle.
Time Management
The duration of this game will depend on the number of players. It will probably last from 10 to
20 minutes. If you are short of time, you can request that one family member present the
identification form and that only a few members actually cross the border.
Leading the Game
• Regroup the players by family and spread them out about 10m from each other.
• Read the context of the game aloud.
• Give each family an identification form.
• While they are filling these out, make sure that your border is ready.
• When a family has filled out its form, the whole family will come to see you at the border.
• Tell each family member to cross the border, blindfolded. The family cannot let the tin cans
30
jingle more than a total of one time per player (5 times for a family of 5; 8 times for a family of
8).
• When the whole family has crossed the border, you will take their identification form.
• If the identification form is correctly filled out in the language of the host country (that is, in a
nonsensical language such as that printed on the identification form), you accept them into the
country and give them an “Event” card (
).
• If the form is not filled out correctly, tell them that you don’t understand it and ask them to move
over to the side where they must fill it out properly and then bring it back. You can decide whether
or not to make them cross the border again.
• If a family makes too much noise crossing the border, you can make them pay for their right of
entry into the country by giving up one or two items in their emergency supply.
Context (to be read aloud)
“After having overcome many difficulties you have finally reached the border. Many of you
are exhausted, sick, hungry and thirsty. You really don’t expect much except perhaps some
water, some food and a place to settle down for a while so as to care for the sick and to sleep
without fear.
Unfortunately, you have lost your identity papers during your ordeal and the authorities in this
country are afraid that criminals, agitators and other troublesome people might try to enter the
country. So, before doing anything else, including attending to your most basic needs, you are
all required to fill out identification forms. If you are not able to fill out these forms, you might
be sent back without receiving any help.
As soon as you have filled out these forms, you may come to the Border Control Office by
crossing this area which represents the border.
Be warned, however. To be accepted into this country the authorities must be sure that you are
the kind of people who can easily integrate into a different environment.”
Debriefing
No debriefing necessary at this time.
Set-up pattern for the “border”
31
SETTING UP CAMP
Game Module #7
Objective
To prepare a list of materials needed for each family in a refugee camp. Families will receive the
supplies necessary to move in. Alas, as the game continues substantial modifications will have
to be made to the plan, creating problems for the families. They will have to adapt.
Preparation
Materials
• 1 sheet of paper per family;
• the lists of available supplies, which you will copy and cut out in advance;
• a watch or stop-watch.
• a jerry can and a few cups
Set-up : This game can be played anywhere. Try to recreate the conditions of a refugee camp (no
tables or chairs).
Time management
The timing is everything in this game, so pay close attention. The total duration is about 10
minutes, but only the game leaders should know this. Follow closely the guidelines given in the
section “Leading the game.”
Leading the Game
• Group the players by family, separating each group by about 10m.
• Give one piece of paper to each family.
• Read the context of the game out loud.
• Hand out the first supply list.
• After 5 minutes, pretend to go to the warehouse and come back announcing that new refugees
have arrived from the same country as them and that existing supplies and space must be shared
with them. You hand out the second supply list.
• After 2 minutes, tell them that the first people to hand in their lists will be given priority in the
distribution.
• After 1 minute, begin collecting the forms.
• Go to the warehouse and come back explaining there is nothing left but water. You set up the
jerry can and begin the water distribution. The players will have to line up for water.
32
Context (to be read aloud)
“While you were crossing the border, you lost the bag that contained all of your family’s
important papers when you had to wade through a river. You have been in the camp for a few
days and last night you saw some parachutes landing on a nearby hill. The installation of
newly arrived refugees like you is being organized right now. You will be given a list of supplies
that will be made available to the refugees so that they can set up a living space and move their
families in before the rainy season begins.
As soon as you receive this list you must indicate which items you will need and how many of
each. You have 15 minutes to establish your list.
In order to avoid crowd problems, we ask that you all stay where you are while doing this task.”
Debriefing
Ask the families to take about 10 minutes to fill out the corresponding section of the Family
Game Sheet. Players must express their feelings about all the interruptions and changes,
justifiable or not, and the changes in the timing as it was originally announced.
33
THE FAMILY SPOKESMAN
Game Module #8
Objective
In order to go to a host country, each family must send a representative to get authorization to
cross the border. This representative, or spokesman, should be persuasive enough to obtain this
authorization. This situation corresponds to that of refugees seeking to be admitted to countries
with long processes for determining refugee status, as is the case in industrialized countries.
Preparation
Material
• “Password” cards which you will cut out in advance. These must be decoded by some families.
You will have the responses with you;
• an official-looking rubber stamp with an ink pad.
• one set of guidelines per family
Time Management
This game should last about 20 to 30 minutes.
Leading the Game
• Give each family a regulation sheet and then leave them alone for 10 to 15 minutes so they can
prepare their strategy (with absolutely no help from the game leaders). Then, you will have just
a few minutes to hear their cases.
• Each family will send you one representative, one at a time. He or she must convince you why
the family should receive asylum.
• If the spokesman has a SUBMISSIVE ATTITUDE, the family will be authorized to enter the
country immediately. Stamp their Family Game Sheet and let them pass.
• If the spokesman has some other attitude, you will give him a “Password” card to decode and
you will go on to the next family WITHOUT GIVING ANY EXPLANATION. The spokesman
must go back to his or her family and come back to you when they have the answer, in order to
obtain authorization (if they do not get the answer, you can grumble and then let them through).
Debriefing
There is no debriefing in this game.
34
Password Codes
Citizen: C is N
(The words are coded with a displaced alphabet where A is L, B is M, C is N...)
WTMPCEJ = FREEDOM
APLNP = PEACE
DZWTOLCTEJ = SOLIDARITY
DPNFCTEJ = SECURITY
Ramses
= FREE
= PEACE
= SOLIDARITY
= SECURITY
35
MEETING THE LOCAL POPULATION
Game Module #9
Objective
After being given asylum, the families find themselves in a foreign country where they do not
even speak the language. Yet, they are going to have to communicate somehow if they are to
move in somewhere, feed themselves, inform themselves or simply play together.
Preparation
Materials
• your Family Summary sheet.
• small pieces of cardboard on which to write the messages the players will have
to communicate. The number of pieces of cardboard should equal half the
number of players. You will find below a few examples of messages you can
write on the cardboard. Use your imagination to find more!
Examples:
“I am looking for a food store”
“Where can I buy cheap food?”
“I am looking for a doctor. My whole family is sick”
“Where is the closest pharmacy?”
“What are the most popular children's games in this country?”
“Where can I take the bus?”
“Can I go to school?”
“May I play with you?”
Time management
This game should last about 12 minutes, including the grouping of the players in pairs and giving
them time to try communicating with each other. Add a few minutes at the end for debriefing.
Leading the game
• Gather the players together.
• Read the context of the game aloud.
• Separate the players into pairs, if possible putting “children” together. The important thing is
for the players to get their message understood.
• Give a message to one member of each pair of players (the "sending" player). If there is an odd
number of players, make a group of 3 and give them two messages. The 3 players will form a
chain with a "sending" and "receiving" player in the middle.
36
• For a maximum of 5 minutes the players will try to make their questions understood by their
partner by writing the message out on his or her back.
• Ask each of the "receiving" players what they understood and each of the "sending" players to
rectify if necessary.
Context (to be read aloud)
“After an endless number of steps and processes, you have finally arrived in a country that has
accepted to grant you refugee status. You have just arrived in what will be your new dwelling,
in what seems to be a strange neighborhood. The neighbors don’t look anything like you and
cannot understand you when you try to communicate with them. Somehow you will have make
yourself understood if you want to be able to move in and settle down.
Each member of the family is going to go try to communicate with a stranger who is from the
area. Children will look for local children. The father will find another father of a family, etc.
In this way, each person will come into contact with a stranger. The stranger will not be able
to understand his or her speech because their pronunciation is so different, but they can
communicate by tracing the letters of the message on each other’s back. Of course, this must
be done without talking.”
Debriefing
At the end of the game and after having checked that messages have been correctly transmitted
and received, the game leader asks the families to fill in the corresponding box on the Family
Game Sheet.
37
REPATRIATION
Game Module #10 Objective
To make the players aware of the problems and risks faced by refugees when they go back to their
own country.
Preparation
Photocopy the “Item” cards ( ) as many times as there are families, plus two more sets. Cut them
out and if possible glue them on to pieces of cardboard or old playing cards.
Time management
Normal playing time is 5 to 10 minutes but it will also depend on how long it takes the families
to find their cards.
Leading the game
• While the families are debriefing about the previous game, lay the cards on the floor face down
so that the players cannot see what they say.
• Read the context of the game aloud.
• When you give the signal, all the players will go look for certain cards. To help them with their
basic needs, each family must find:
- 3 different foods that match what they usually eat
- 1 tool to help them grow their own food
- 1 packet of seeds
- water
• Make sure that when a player picks up a “Mine” card that he or she doesn’t just place it back
on the ground. The mine cards read as follows: “This is a mine which explodes when you touch
it. Yell loudly the word “BOOM” and fall to the ground. You are severely wounded and
screaming in pain. You can no longer help your family.”
• After about 10 minutes, blow the whistle to end the game and ask the players to regroup with
their families for the final debriefing.
38
Context (to be read aloud)
“You have traveled by truck to finally come back home. You are happy but you find that your
homeland is completely devastated after several years of war. Homes, hospitals, schools,
railways and roads are lying in ruins. There are land mines still in the ground, dispersed
everywhere in the region. The most basic services no longer exist and all the physical and
administrative infrastructure has been destroyed. Even drinking water is no longer available.
You must try to find something to eat and drink in the area where you are; namely, 3 kinds of
food that correspond to what you normally eat (see your Family Data sheet), as well as
drinking water. For the future, you will have to cultivate some land in order to provide food for
your family. You will need a packet of seeds and a farm tool so you can plant crops before the
first rain, if you want to have a good harvest.
Be careful when you are looking for these things because the area has not been completely demined. If you have the misfortune of turning over a mine, you could be handicapped for life
or even die. Be very careful.”
Then, if you are doing the long version of this game:
“Of course, you can trade items with other families using the things remaining in your
emergency supply case, if it helps you.”
Debriefing
You can go directly to the “Final Debriefing”.
39
FINAL DEBRIEFING
This debriefing takes place in two parts.
Objective
Part 1: To give the players a chance to express their feelings.
Part 2: To have a group brainstorming session to come up with ideas on how everyone can help
refugees in a concrete way.
Preparation
Part 1: Make copies of the “How do you feel now?” sheet, one per player.
Part 2: Prepare a suggestion box, have blank sheets of paper on hand and, if possible, a large paper
board.
Time management
Part 1: Try to keep this part as dynamic as possible. The total time will depend on how many
people you have, but it should not exceed 10 to 15 minutes.
Part 2: This part can take more time, perhaps 10 minutes for the first part and 10 to 15 minutes
for the second.
Leading the game
Part 1:
A) How the families feel:
• Bring the players together.
• Propose a quick overview of the intermediary debriefings. If the group is not larger than 50
people, you can ask each family to read their notes. You will highlight what you think is
important and make comparisons that will be useful to the players.
You can also ask the players the following question: “What do you think of this kind of learning
game? Do you feel that it created the kind of atmosphere necessary for you to understand what
refugees live through?”
40
B) Individual feelings:
• Hand out the “How do you feel now?” sheets.
• Ask each person to check off the face that best corresponds to the emotions that he or she felt
during the game.
• Ask each person why he/she chose the face he/she checked.
• Ask the players who either used an “SOS” card or were hit by a mine how they feel (if they wish
to tell you).
• Read out one after the other the adjectives on the "How do you feel now" sheet and ask the
players who circled the same face to group together.
•You can underline which states of mind were the most common and comment.
• Let each participant keep his own sheet afterwards, if he/she wishes.
Part 2:
A) The new groups should work together for 5-10 minutes and list as many concrete actions as
they can think of that could be helpful to refugees. Ask them to put the lists in the suggestion box.
B) When they are finished, read the ideas out loud, write them down on a paper board and discuss
them with the whole group.
• Go on to the “Farewell Game”. This will end your simulation experience on a happy note.
41
FAREWELL GAME
Objectives
To bring back good feelings among the players and to help them come out of their roles as
refugees. You will propose a game to them that will reunite all the families and in which the game
leaders will also play.
Leading the game
Now that you have listened to each family express their feelings on the theme of refugees, you
will finish up by asking them to form a large circle. You should join them too.
Context (to be read aloud)
“After having gone through this game about refugees, we invite you to join us in a last exercise
that will bring us together and help us conclude this experience. Everyone get in a circle and
stand should to shoulder.
Come on, a little closer!
Now we are all going to make a quarter turn to the right.
To the right please, to the right!
Now, we’re going to make the circle even smaller by moving one step in towards the middle of
the circle. Great.
Now, on my signal, and only on my signal, and all together, you are going to sit down on the
knees of the person behind you.
Ready? Okay go!
You see! We are keeping each other balanced, without any supports.
If you want, we can even try to move together. When I give the signal everybody move their
right leg forward.
Go! Now the left leg ... good ...”
THE END
42
Attachments
Player
Documents
Family Game Sheet
1/3
FAMILY...................................................................................
Escape and separation
Write the words which best express the feelings of each member of the group.
By concensus, choose two words to be kept by the family.
Temporary shelter
List the types of constraints youfelt during the game.
Each person evaluate on a scale of 1 to 10 the degree of difficulty felt thruoghout the
game (1 = easy, 10 = difficult).
Calculate the average evaluation of the group.
Family Game Sheet
2/3
The decision to leave one's country
After spending the night in this temporary shelter, your family must make the difficult
decision about whether to leave the country or not. Before doing anything, you decide
to talk it over as a family. Each member of the family should express his/her feelings
on the following issues. Write down the various points of view.
What is pushing you to leave your country?
What is making you hesitate to leave your country?
What are you hoping to find on the other side of the border?
What are you afraid of finding across the border?
Family Game Sheet
3/3
Setting up camp
What were you feeling...
... when the situation bagan to change?
... at the end, when you gave your drawings back?
Meeting the local population
"Message senders": what difficulties did you have when trying to make yourself
understand?
"Message receivers": what did you feel as you were trying to understand?
Family
Data
Last Name: A...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
Grandfather, 60 years old, farmer and a good
mechanic
z
...............................................................................................
z
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 37, farmer
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 17, farmhand
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 14, farmhand
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 12, farmhand
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 11, farmhand
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 9, farmhand
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 1, barely walks
Family Biography and Situation
This family lives by farming the land. They are illiterate and more or less ignorant of the political situation in their country. Civil war is ravishing the country.
The father has stayed at the farm to protect the crops, which should be good this year. The rest of
the family has left. They have started off somewhere towards the south where a cousin has said they
would be safe.
Details
• Eat all types of food
• Very religious
• Speak the dialect of their region but
not the national language
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: B...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Father, 50, architect
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 48, teacher
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 20, science student
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 18, law student
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 17, high school student
Family Biography and Situation
Two different ethnic communities, with different religions, have been at odds in this country for some
time. The parents of Family B are each from different ethnic communities.
Mixed families are rejected by the two communities. The children are mistrusted and are being expelled from the schools and universities. The situation is getting worse and Family B is becoming
afraid for their lives.
Details
• Two different religions
• Do not eat pork
• Speak 4 different languages
• Were able to smuggle some gold
out of the country with them
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: G...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 32, farmer
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother’s sister, 30, farmer
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother’s brother, 20, fisherman
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 10, schoolboy
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 8, schoolgirl
Family Biography and Situation
Mrs. G lost her husband after a major catastrophe. Famine is sweeping this area and armed bandits have been attacking the farmers and stealing the already meagre harvest. The people are fleeing.
Details
• Basic nourishment is millet and fish
• Traditional religion
• Speak one language
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: K...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Grandfather, 87, retired colonel
z
...............................................................................................
z
Grandmother, 80, housewife
z
...............................................................................................
z
Father, 55, owner of a textile mill
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 52, accountant for the mill
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 33, production manager at the mill
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter-in-law, 27, housewife
z
...............................................................................................
z
Grandson, 7, schoolboy
z
...............................................................................................
z
Granddaughter, 5, stays with her mother
Family Biography and Situation
Family K has been living in a small town for 30 years, after fleeing a dictatorship in their own country. They have built up a business that has become very prosperous.
There has been a coup d’etat and the Father, Grandfather and Son have all been ordered to present
themselves to the new authorities.
They are very frightened that if they go, they will never see their family again.
Details
• Do not eat dairy products for
religious reasons
• Do not drink alcohol
• Believe in one god, very religious
• Speak 3 languages
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: M...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Father, 40, journalist
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 35, bookstore keeper
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 9, schoolgirl
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 5, schoolgirl
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 6 months, can’t walk, must be carried
Family Biography and Situation
Two elder sons were killed when a bomb planted in their mother’s bookstore exploded. The
bombing was a reprisal against the father who had written articles denouncing political corruption
in their country.
Each day the family receives death threats in the mail.
Details
• Eat all types of food
• Atheist
• Speak 5 languages
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: R..........................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Father, 33, bus driver
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 30, embroiders clothing
z
...............................................................................................
z
Grandmother, 50, clothing designer
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 15, glazes pottery
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 11, schoolgirl
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 3
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 6 months, can’t walk,
must be carried
Family Biography and Situation
The members of Family R were originally laborers on a tea plantation in the mountains. When the
Grandfather died they lost their house, which was then allocated to another family. They came to the
city and learned different trades. They live in a poor area in a 2-room house.
The family belongs to an ethnic minority which is often in conflict with the government. The minority
group is not particularly militant but they are more and more fearful of possible violence.
Details
• Vegetarians
(principal diet of rice and other cereals)
• Non-violent religion
• Speak 2 languages, one of which is
the official national language
• Dream of going to another continent
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: S...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Grandmother, 57, midwife
z
...............................................................................................
z
Father, 34, potter, very active in politics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 10, schoolgirl
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 6, schoolboy
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 3
Family Biography and Situation
Mother died after giving birth to the last child, so the Grandmother has come to take care of the children. They live in a seaside village.
After the last elections, a civil war broke out between the two main ethnic groups in this country,
groups Z and W.
W, the group that this family belongs to, is the minority in the village. There have been rumours about
ethnic cleansing.
Details
• Eat mostly fish and seafood
• Believe in God
• Speak 3 languages
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: T...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
Father, 40, rug merchant
z
...............................................................................................
z
z
...............................................................................................
z
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 7, schoolboy in a monastery
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 2
z
...............................................................................................
z
Twin Sons, 2
Mother, 30, collects and sells
medicinal herbs
Family Biography and Situation
Family T comes from the main city in the province. The family wants to join some cousins who
emigrated to the north of a neighboring country, to the town where their religious leader lives.
For several years, their minority ethnic group has been victimized and repressed by the national
government. One of the father’s brothers was killed in some cross-fire.
Details
• Eat all foods
• Non-violent religion
• Speak 3 languages
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: U...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Father, 44, surgeon
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 43, general practitioner
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother’s sister, 44, lawyer
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 22, law student
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 18, medical student
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 15, schoolgirl
z
...............................................................................................
z
Orphaned Girl, 9, schoolgirl
Family Biography and Situation
The Father and the Mother of the orphan were executed in front of her eyes. She has been in a state
of shock ever since and no longer speaks.
Neighbors took her in.
The intelligentsia is being threatened with arrest and execution every day. There are rumors
circulating about a possible round-up tomorrow.
Details
• Vegetarians
• Believe in God but practice no religion
• Speak 2 languages
• Have taken money and jewelry with them.
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: V...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
Father, 33, unemployed and with no savings
z
...............................................................................................
z
z
...............................................................................................
z
z
...............................................................................................
z
Daughter, 14, schoolgirl
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 13, schoolboy
z
...............................................................................................
z
Son, 12, schoolboy
z
...............................................................................................
z
Mother, 33, supports the family,
factory worker
Cousin, 11, schoolboy,
taken in by his relatives when parents
mysteriously disappeared
Family Biography and Situation
The father, a former factory worker and union chief, was hurt a few months ago during a strike which
was violently repressed by the government.
He has just discovered that he is to be arrested as the police attempt to destroy organized
opposition movements. He knows that he might be tortured and does not want to denounce his
fellow workers.
Details
• Eat all types of food
• Atheist
• Speak one language
• The Mother is seven months pregnant
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
Family
Data
Last Name: X...............................................
First Names
Characteristics
z
...............................................................................................
z
Boy, 17, farmhand
z
...............................................................................................
z
Boy, 17, shepherd with lung problems
z
...............................................................................................
z
Girl, 16, dressmaker, very weak
z
...............................................................................................
z
Boy, 15, farmhand, very strong
z
...............................................................................................
z
Girl, 14, shepherdess, only one leg
z
...............................................................................................
z
Girl, 12, lost her sight
Family Biography and Situation
These teenagers come from three different farm families, from a country devastated by war.
They had to flee when members of their families were massacred with machetes. They lost trace of
surviving family members while trying to escape. They are afraid of everything, their health is suffering and several of them are injured or handicapped.
Details
• Eat what they can find
• Traditional religion
• Only speak the dialect of their region
Things contained in the emergency
supply case
S.O.S.
S.O.S.
S.O.S.
S.O.S.
S.O.S.
S.O.S.
Emergency Supply Case
„
Player Guidelines
Your entire life has been turned upside down. You must leave. You have to escape and leave
everything behind except one object per person.
The survival of your family might depend on the items you choose, so pick those you think
will be the most useful during your escape.
Each family member may now choose an object.
You have 5 minutes to discuss the individual choices and finally put together a family
emergency supply case.
You must carry these supplies with you at all times.
List
Choose your items and then draw pictures of them on your Family Data sheet in the box
entitled “Things contained in the E.S.C.”
• deck of cards
• doll
• first aid kit
• sleeping bag
• kettle
• piece of jewelry
• bar of soap
• compass
• 10 meters of cloth
• a book
• map of the region
• pair of shoes
• knife
• portable radio
• small tent
• flash-light
• watch
• canteen
• 50 meters of rope
• back-pack
• a multilingual dictionary
• gold
Your final choice must be agreed upon by all.
TAKE VERY CLOSE CARE OF THESE ITEMS - THEY MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!
„
Give the object chosen
by the youngest person
in the family.
„
You have been stopped
by the state police;
decide which object to
give up.
„
You have been stopped
by the state police; give
up the smallest item in
your emergency supply
case.
Give up the object
chosen by the player
who picked this card.
Give up the most
cumbersome object in
your emergency supply
case.
Give up the object
chosen by the oldest
person in the family.
„
„
„
„
You must pay your way
through with one item
from your emergency
supply case.
„
At a checkpoint, the
police confiscates one
of the things you use to
guide you on your
journey.
„
At a checkpoint, the
police confiscates the
gold, jewellery and watch
that you managed to
bring with you.
You must leave the place
where you are quickly,
leaving behind the
heaviest item in your
emergency supply case.
You must leave behind
one item from your
emergency supply case.
At a checkpoint, the police
confiscate any items from
your emergency supply
case that might be used
for communicating
information.
„
„
„
During your escape,
someone in your family
broke an arm. You must
make a sling for
him or her.
l
During your escape,
bandits attacked your
family. The oldest family
member got stabbed in
the shoulder. He must
now wear a sling around
his arm.
l
After heavy bombing, your
One of the sons in your
family got shot in the right family is trying to escape
but the parents are
leg during an air raid. After
overwhelmed with the
trying to help him as best
stress. They can no longer
as you can, you must
make decisions (until you
decide whether to carry
reach the camp).
him or abandon him.
l
l
The eldest daughter
sprains her ankle while
you are fleeing air raids
on your city. She must
be carried from now on.
l
During the escape, one
of the two parents in
your family goes into
psychological shock. He
or she can no longer
take care of anything.
l
During the escape, one
of your children went
into a state of shock and
can no longer speak. Put
a sign around his neck in
case he/she gets lost.
l
l
During the escape, one
of the adults was shot.
Administer first aid and
wait to find some
medicine. Sometimes he/
she screams in pain.
One of your children fell
into a well while you
were escaping. You must
help him or her walk for
the rest of the game.
During the escape, the
head of the family was
blinded. Now he must
wear a blindfold until he
reaches the camp where
he can get medical aid.
Your children
accidentally inhaled a
toxic gas and can no
longer talk until they get
first aid at the camp.
During a night time
escape, your family fell
into a hole. The mother
and sons are injured and
must limp to the camp.
l
l
l
l
‹
You feel isolated, with no
future left. Still, it is
advisable to cross the
border in order to stay
alive. Talk it over with
your family.
You have a wounded
family member on your
hands and you worry
about his chances of
survival. Can you climb
over a mountain range
with him or her ?
You are very tired. All
you want to do is stay
where you are and do
nothing. You must
decide together what to
do next, even though
talking tires you even more.
You have to leave but to
where ? You want a
restful, calm and quiet
place and you wonder
which country will
accept you. Discuss it.
‹
‹
You all agree that it is
best to leave but you are
sad about leaving your
homeland. Talk it over.
‹
‹
You are worried about not
knowing where you are
going. All the children in
the family are very
nervous about leaving
their country. Talk it over
with them.
‹
You have no news about
other family members.
You don't even know if
they are still alive. Will
you leave the country
without them ?
Discuss it.
You feel like there is no
end to your running
away. When will it stop ?
You have doubts and
lose hope. You discuss
the decision to have left
your home.
‹
You are afraid you will
never find a peaceful
host country where
human rights are
respected. Talk about
this with you family.
You are afraid you will
never find a peaceful
host country where
human rights are
respected. Talk about
this with your family.
‹
You can hardly imagine
what it might be like on
the other side of the
border. You ask the
children to try to imagine
it. Then you discuss it as
a family.
You believe it is
necessary to go away
but you are sad to leave
your country behind. Talk
about it.
‹
‹
‹
‹
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±
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QsxLTz’YrÇ :.............................................................................................
YwdqsxH :............................................ ’D’ºY»:
....................................... YwPdas H’a» :
.........................................................................................
P, L, Y:.........................................................................................................
YwVZ<~Nlh :
............................................................................................................................
............................................................................................................................
.........................................................................................................................
1.......................................Vl............................................................................
2.......................................YF.............................................................................
3.......................................PF.............................................................................
4.......................................Lq............................................................................
5......................................xL............................................................................
6......................................xR............................................................................
7.......................................NL............................................................................
8.......................................Tz’............................................................................
W¶>~¶¥¤¡YVZ<~ Nlh’
.........................................................................
Yw¥~¶.................................................................................................................
You crossed a lake to get
where you wanted to go,
taking the risk drowning.
Now, you want to have a
hot meal, some balnkets
and a good night's sleep.
After all the problems
crossing the border, you
want nothing more than
something to eat and
clean water to drink. You
hope you find this in the
camp that lies justahead.
Your family has finally
arrived in the camp. They
had been dreaming
about it during their
entire journey.
You have followed some
other refugees who have
led you to a camp.
You are in a hurry to
settle into a camp and
take care of your
wounded.
±
You lost everything when
you crossed the border
and the fear of being
found by soldiers has
followed you along your
route. You are happy to
finally arrive in the camp.
±
±
±
±
±
In spite of the ambushes
and the robbers along
the way, your family has
arrived safely at the
camp.
You have crossed the
border and are so
exhausted that you can
barely get to the camp.
All you can think about is
a bed to lie down on.
After all the problems
crossing the border, you
want nothing more than
something to eat and
clean water to drink. You
hope you find this in the
camp that lies just ahead.
You are trying to forget
how painful it was to
make the crossing with
handicapped family
members. You see the
camp site as an oasis.
You have finally crossed
the mountains that form
the border but now you
have some wounded
family members and you
need a first aid kit.
You have crossed the
border and are so
exhausted that you can
barely get to the camp.
All you can think about is
a bed to lie down on.
±
±
±
±
±
±
List of Available Supplies
• tent cloths, with stakes and floor mats
• tarpaulins and poles
• balls of string
• blankets
• sleeping mats
• metallic basins
• cooking pots
• portable stoves
• jerry cans
• 10 l jerry cans of kerosene
• 20kg sacks of rice
• 20kg sacks of flour
• hyper-proteined biscuits (250 g packs)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
List of Available Supplies
• tarpaulins
• balls of string
• blankets
• cooking pots
• jerry cans
• 20kg sacks of rice
The Family Spokesman
Player Guidelines
Your family hopes to enter an industrialized country. To do so, you will have to decide who
will represent your family and plead your case to the officials of that country.
You have 10-15 minutes to prepare for this interview:
1. Who is going to represent you?
2. With what attitude should he or she approach the authorities?
3. What will he or she say in order to convince the authorities?
Working together, prepare for the interview and help your spokesman by making up a
scenario in which he or she might have to present your request for admission.
You must be aware that the spokesman might have to explain your case to people who don’t
understand your language!
Help him express sadness, anger, distress, fear, etc. Act out these feelings without speaking.
Choose a few convincing key words that will be useful in this situation.
Have the spokesperson repeat the words so that he can get “inside” the character that he has
to play (mother and head of the family, elderly parent in charge of a whole family, the eldest
of a group of siblings, etc.).
As soon as the spokesman is ready, have him or her go to the interview, with the Family
Game Sheet in hand.
i
i
PASSWORD
PASSWORD
Code : Citizen
Code : Citizen
WTMPCEJ
APLNP
i
i
PASSWORD
PASSWORD
Code : Citizen
Code : Citizen
DZWTOLCTEJ
DPNFCTEJ
i
i
PASSWORD
PASSWORD
Ramses code
Ramses code
i
i
PASSWORD
PASSWORD
Ramses code
Ramses code
Cereals
Fish
Water
Eggs
Fruit
Vegetables
”
”
”
”
”
”
Water
”
This is a mine that explodes when you
touch it. Yell loudly the word "BOOM"
and fall to the ground. You are severely
injured and screaming in pain. You can
no longer help your family.
Milk product
Hoe
”
”
Wood
Seeds
”
”
Land mine
”
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