Emma Molloy

The United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees is a non-profit organisation, based in Dublin, that protects refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. It is heart-wrenching to read that over 100 million people have been forced to flee their own country due to war, conflict and persecution. Children in Irish schools should be made aware of this, in a sensitive manner. It is important they realise that they can help and that they can also be active citizens to welcome these people into their society by accepting change and diversity. Children should be encouraged to be sensitive and empathetic with one another and with the predicament of migrants and refugees.

This is very topical at the moment in Ireland, as so many Ukrainian children have been welcomed into our classrooms. Children are susceptible to change but should also know why these children have come and that they were left with no choice. Learners can inform their families of ways to help – donating clothes, food, water etc. or making a monetary donation to support the people to seek asylum in our country, while they remain displaced.

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