Stories that matter

by Annie Philip | 1 May 2016

“We are human” is then spoken in different languages

As I’m writing this article I’m thinking of one story in particular. Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee who was traveling with his parents and his brother from Bodrum in Turkey to the Greek Island of Kos. It was a journey of 2.5 miles. Five minutes into their journey, the boat capsized. Many of you would have seen the images of Aylan, drowned, lying face down on the sand, the waves lapping against him, you may have also seen the police officer who carefully picked him up and carried him away. “Humanity washed ashore” became the title of this story and in an instant people woke up to the realities of what is the largest movement of refugees since World War Two. So far there have been over 4 million people that have left Syria, as I write 8000 refugees are arriving in Europe every day (UNHCR, 2015) but on the morning of Thursday 2nd September 2015 it was the image of one boy, lying face down in the sand, that changed everything.

I would like to share the impact this one story had on a class of grade 10 drama students. The unit they were working on was Creating an Ensemble, the project involves taking an issue and exploring it in depth in order to devise a performance which will ignite awareness. As a teacher in an international school I feel it is essential that students relate to global issues in a sensitive and meaningful way, this project gives them a chance to do that.

The issue the class was focusing on was Refugees and the situation in Syria was the focus.

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