The CEO of the Refugee Council, Paul Power said at the launch of the week today,
"If you compare the political debate that we have in Australia to other countries in equivalent situations, it is pretty disappointing that the process of seeking protection from persecution is so politicised in Australia."He went on to say, "Until we can attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who has suffered through that, often people have misunderstandings of what being a refugee is about."
And so it is this ability to empathise with the plight of refugees that we as teachers need to focus upon when choosing books to read to and with young children. Luckily there is a large number of books which have refugees and 'restoring hope' as themes.
If you are looking for a one stop place to start planning some lessons this is an amazing resource for teachers. If you teach very young children and you want to have a discussion on 'hope' and what it means, this little picture book is a good starting point, Circles of Hope by Karen Lynn Williams and Linda Saport.
During Refugee Week in 2010 I wrote about seven books that illustrate the plight of refugees, that I have used in my library with children aged between 6 and 8. They are listed here with links back to the original entries.
1. 20/6/2010 Refugees by David Miller
2. 21/6/2010 Petar's Song by Patrima Mitchell and Caroline Binch
3. 22/6/2010 Four Feet Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
4. 23/6/2010 The Colour of Home by Karen Hoffman
5. 24/6/2010 A True Person by Gabiann Martin and Jacqui Grantford
6. 25/6/2010 Ali the Bold by Jane Jolly and Elise Hurst
7. 26/6/2010 Rainbow Bird by Czenya Cavouras
As well as returning to these I will talk about other books that can be added to this bookbank over the next few days.