This year, St. Aloysius Technical School in Taiwan participated in “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” project. Sixty students participated in the experience with the role and conditions of the refugees. Through the action, they attracted all teachers and students and the public to pay attention to those who were forced to flee their homes under conflict and persecution. Expecting everyone to have a deeper reflection on human rights and life.
The students prepared their own equipment: Student Peng brought big pumpkins and radishes; student Zhang brought a pack of heavy white rice; student Fang borrowed big soup pots from his mother, some students brought the blankets for cold currents, and student Su packed a large bag of clothes. In the preparation process, each student had a reflection on the situation of the refugees, for example: what kind of food is easy to keep?
The 4.8-kilometer journey starts from St. Aloysius Technical School and passes through the Xinpu town, along the river bank, across the bridge, and through the fields and woods.
Paying attention to the human rights issue of refugees is the core subject of this academic year. War refugees, climate refugees, political refugees…etc, through the Ethic courses and experiences, students have more understanding, reflection and action. May we pay more attention to these fragile people and do our best to help them, as the Pope called: peace is the right of all. It is important that all, civil institutions, educational, welfare and ecclesial bodies are committed to ensuring for refugees, migrants and everyone a future of peace.(1st January 2018, Angelus)
Here are some reflections from St. Aloysius Technical School students who participated in Walk A Mile:
After my own experience, I really know how hard the refugees are, not only to be displaced, but also to take such heavy things to escape. They must walk more than I am, and more tired than me. Refugees are forced to flee their homes merely for safety. It’s very hard to escape for them. They have to endure hunger and thirst on the way. If they are sick, they are more painful. There are many people in the world who need our help. We should lend a helping hand to help them. LIU,YU-WEN
Through this experience, I know that refugees are really hard. We just finished walking for 4.8 kilometers and ended the refugee experience, but the refugees took something heavier and they didn’t know how long it would take to have a good rest. And the refugees still have to take the injured family and children, they are likely to be hungry often. KU,FU-HSUAN
I am very happy to have this opportunity to experience a different life. It will let us know how hard and tired the refugees have been walking for so long. I don’t know what dangers I will encounter on this road. May be on the road because there is no food, or there is no clean drinking water, or the weather is cold without a warm blanket, but frozen, although our journey is not very long, and there is no danger, but I can still feel their hard. HU,KUAN-CHEN
In the experience, I found out that in order to survive, those refugees must carry such heavy things every minute, and take a longer road than we walk. When I think about this, I feel that it is not easy for these refugees to survive! Therefore, in the experience, I always hold a grateful and compassionate heart. I am grateful to God for letting us learn and read books, and hope that one day they will be able to go to school safely like us! PENG,YU-YEH
The road we walk is just a tarmac road. The roads for the refugees may be mud or gravel roads. It is very difficult to walk. It must be harder than us. And they need to take their family to escape. We can’t imagine how their life so hard is. After the event, I really feel that we are very happy children. I hope that in the future, I can do my bit to help them. There are many people in the world who need help like them, although we can not help all refugees in the world, at least we can help some refugees not to be starved to death. CHEN,YI-SYUAN
After the refugee experience was over, I deeply experienced the significance of this activity. During this activity, I experienced a little bit of their feelings of going to school. This gave me empathy. I never used to think about that for some people, going to school is so difficult. Perhaps because of this reason, I feel that going to school is not important in my life; but for them, every time they go to school, they cherish it. WANG,TSENG-HSIANG
During this experience, I found out how happy my ordinary life is. Because the refugees are far away from my life, every time I hear the information about refugees, it is usually ignored by me. But through this school activity, I have this opportunity to experience, let me reflect on whether I care about the issue of refugees and what I do for them. In this experience, I felt the hardships of escape and the greatness of a pregnant mother, which made me cherish my existing . It will also make me pay more attention to the tiny voices in the world. CHEN,PO-YU