PAAC’s 2016 Fall Conference was a timely opportunity to educate 110 students on the current international migrant crisis. The conference featured an empathy-building simulation designed to put students in the shoes of a refugee. Students experienced being separated from family, crossing immigration checkpoints and borders, spending time in a temporary shelter, and other difficulties commonly faced by refugees.
Simulations like these conducted in a controlled and safe environment can never match the intensity of what life is like for refugees. Nevertheless, the simulation stirred a spectrum of emotions and helped students to empathize with those forced to leave their homes.
Dr. Terrina Wong, Deputy Director at Pacific Gateway Center, discussed the challenges refugees face in Hawaii and what her organization does to support their successful transition to life in the islands.
“It was eye-opening and pretty shocking. It’s an experience that will stick with me for a long time.”
“I had a realization of the hardships faced by asylees and refugees, which helped me connect to this issue on a deeper level.”
This simulation was later facilitated by PAAC for Hawaii Technology Academy, Iolani School, Maui High, Seabury Hall, and will soon be brought to Hawaii Island!
See more pictures in our Photo Gallery.