Europe, as the rest of the world, has been experiencing great migratory movements. According to the UNHCR, at least 65.5 million people are forced from their homes and either internally displaced in their home countries or have fled to other parts of the world. Many of them are young people who, either accompanied by family or alone, have fled to Europe.
The public debate is filled with claims about why these people are fleeing and what their opinions about Europe and Denmark are. What is striking, is that the young refugees’ personal stories are absent in the debate. That was what Senior Fellow Sara Ridder – and her internship Ungdomsbureauet (the Youth Bureau) – wanted to address with the project and book “The Refugees.”
Through this Action Project, young individuals who fled to Denmark were given the opportunity to tell their stories, thoughts, and dreams. Each person got five pages to tell their experiences of being a young person and having fled their home country. The goal of The Refugees project was to provide insight into the lives of the people behind the statistics and thus bring new perspectives to the topic of refugees from the points of view of young people who have lived that reality.
With this book, Sara hopes “the collection of stories will contribute to an enhanced understanding of young refugees and add more dimensions to the political debate.”
The book also encourages citizens and decision makers to reflect. On top of being a book, The Refugees project is also a reflexive workshop process. The young refugees are paired with a volunteer who aided the storytellers in their process of reflection and writing through a series of 10 workshops.
Download the book here.