No money. No connections. No ability to communicate with those around you. Your children are hungry. You fear for their safety. What would you do?
These are the questions that University of North Florida students grappled with last night as they participated in a refugee simulation experience. It’s a required exercise for students in UNF’s Hicks Honors College, and honors program director Dr. Leslie Kaplan thinks it’s an extremely valuable one. “The students think they know the reality of it because they hear about it on the news,” says Kaplan. “But, the reality is sometimes there are no good choices. It’s a matter of luck whether things fall into place. It’s not always a matter of whether you work hard.”
You can read more about the refugee simulation experience in today’s Times-Union. LSS CEO Mary Strickland was there, as was our director of international programs, Betzy Santiago. Dr. Kaplan and UNF have been great partners of LSS’ refugee services team for many years. (In fact, it was this program that brought us our wonderful intern, Natalie Holland, who wrote our last blog post about her experiences!) Thanks to UNF and the the Times-Union for bringing attention to refugee issues.