Refugee Week: Healing
How does being aware of refugees, understanding their experiences and learning about their challenges and losses align with wellbeing in a small Catholic School? As Pauline stated in the Faith section of the newsletter that as Catholics, we are called to welcome all and love our neighbour.
Each morning the children at Holy Family begin their school day in prayer. Each week the focus is on a different aspect of the Church Calendar or a theme that helps children understand social issues and events within our community, such as Harmony or Refugee Week.
Our morning prayers during week 8 are a lead-up to Refugee Week, which is from June 19 to 25. The prayers, bible stories, picture story books and short videos the children will engage with during the week are a way of helping them understand the complexities that other children and their families face when displaced from their countries. Developing their understanding is a way of building empathy towards and acceptance of others.
Empathy and Acceptance are two components of our school's HEART values. Having these qualities in their emotional toolkit enables children to learn how to build connections and regulate their emotions. It can also promote helping behaviours. An example of putting, "helping others" into practice is the fundraising appeal organised by our senior students which they will be hosting in Week 9.
We know that some families at Holy Family have experienced displacement and that schools throughout Victoria and the rest of Australia are welcoming children throughout the world who are refugees. Understanding that families within our community have experienced what it is to be a refugee should hopefully enable all of us to reflect upon and imagine the experiences of others. Understanding this can certainly help the children at our school to develop the important life skills of empathy and acceptance.
The clip below is a powerful example of realising that "Just because it isn't happening here, doesn't mean it isn't happening."