Just Be - Challenging perceptions & changing attitudes on forced migration Favorite 


Apr 13 2017


Cork, Cork City Ireland

The participants are taking part in a one week empathy to action training in Cork.
As a part of this training we were asked to plan a campaign around "Empathy to action". Our theme was global forced migration. We wanted to approach the public with this issue and engage them in an empathic process. We developed a 3-stage activity: 1. The backpack game 2. Discussion and information 3. Collective expressions. The campaign was finished with the question: "What if it was you?"

1. The backpack game
What: a fun, easy activity to invite the public to our space
How: we asked the public: "What would you bring in your backpack?"
-> Imagine: You have to flee your home urgently!
-> You have 30 seconds
- > Choose only 5 things

2. Discussion and information
What: an opportunity to discuss forced migration
How: First we asked the public to reflect on the backpack game and the items they chose, then introduced the forced migration theme, presented some global statistics and finally discussed the theme further

3. Collective expressions
What: We prepared two different spaces, one with a chalkboard and one with a paint board station.
How: we asked the public to leave their message to the ones who are facing forced migration

The outcome of this activity:
The activity was completed in 2 hours, 26 people participated in the game , 20 people participated in the collective expressions. Also bystanders were interested in the topic and studied the information.
There was a large variety of participants, the age range varied from 6 to 70+ and from different backgrounds, both local and foreign.
The public was very receptive, comprehensive and showed positive attitudes, both towards the difficult theme and us as a group.
There were many individual stories recorded. One of the most impactive cases involved a father and a young son. The child was participating in the game and the father was translating the rules into the child's language. The father was referencing on what it was like to be in the shoes of another.

Posted by Forced Migration 2017 on