Welcoming Messages for Refugees
Send a welcoming message to young refugees and displaced children from around the world, to show them they are welcome to your countries and communities!
You will need
- Coloured pens or pencils
- Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
- A4 paper or A4 card
- Camera or scanner
Talk about refugees and displaced children
- The person leading the activity should explain that while Ukraine may currently be in the news, there are lots of different conflicts and crises around the world that force adults and children to have to leave their homes. Sometimes they have to go to a different country to find safety.
- The person leading the activity should explain that we can all help to make people arriving in your country feel welcome.
You may want to talk about why it's important to make people feel welcome. It can be scary or confusing arriving somewhere new. Refugees and displaced children are often new arrivals more than once, in different situations, and may face extra barriers, such as having to learn a new language and get used to a new culture. It's even more important to make them feel welcome.
- The person leading the activity should explain that they are going to create welcoming messages for refugees and displaced children to read when they arrive in a new country.
Create your messages
Remember, the messages will be seen by refugees arriving in your country from different parts of the world, so try to make sure your messages are welcoming to all young refugees, no matter what country they come from.
- Everyone should split into groups of about four people.
- Each group should think about the different things that people should know about your country if they are just arriving. If you were arriving into this country or moving to a new country for the first time, what would you want to know?
You could think about some important facts and also think about what misconceptions there might be.
- Each group should then think about things that are important to them that they would want to share with people who are newly arriving.
For example, you could think about your favourite food, game or sports team. What would you like to share with children arriving from other countries that helps them understand what life is like for young people in your country?
- Each group should decide what are the most important things they want to include in their welcoming message and what it will look like. It's up to you how simple or detailed you make your messages.
How are you going to present it? Can you create some drawings to illustrate your ideas? Could you use photos to create a collage and cut out photos to glue on? You’ll just need to make sure you own all the rights to any material that you submit.
- Each group should create their welcoming message, with drawings and illustrations. Get creative!
For many people arriving in a new country, English may not be their first language. They may not know any English at all when they first arrive. How can you make your message easy for everyone to understand?
Share your messages
- The person leading the activity should gather the finished welcoming messages from the different groups.
- Everyone could talk about how to share the messages. You could share images on social media using #AMillionHands and see what other groups have created. You could even turn your welcome messages into a video.
- Keep hold of your messages, if you can. There may be a way to share these on a digital platform in the future, in collaboration with Save the Children UK.
Thank you to Scouts UK and Save the Children UK for this inspiring chain of welcoming messages. You can find more in https://www.scouts.org.uk/activities/welcoming-messages.