This is a guest post from Hackney Museum.
Hackney has a long, proud history as a safe haven for people who need help and, here at Hackney Museum, we celebrate that all year round. This Refugee Week, we’ve been so fortunate to be able to work with Child Migrant Stories to develop a brand new session for local KS2 pupils, based around four of the Oral Histories featured in the project.
Through a variety of activities, discussions and object handling, children have explored in-depth the stories of four of the people featured in the project. We’ve discussed all the things that we would pack if we had to leave our home (from PS4s to teddy bears) and discovered the story of Argun, who left Cyprus with a carrier bag containing a few clothes and his most treasured item, his family photo book. We’ve learnt about Claudine who, aged 12, walked for six months to escape the Rwandan civil war, carrying her baby brother on her back. And we’ve discovered how a refugee might channel all of their feelings into something creative – for example, Linh who escaped Vietnam on a boat and draws amazing pictures to illustrate her experiences, and Henry who fled El Salvador and wrote beautiful songs about the experiences of refugees worldwide.
The feedback from teachers has been really positive, and we’ll use the stories and activities again for future Refugee Weeks in the museum. In the coming months and years, we will continue to explore more of the stories and design ways of making them accessible to the children of Hackney and incorporating them into our Core Programme, so they can be explored all year round.
We’re incredibly grateful for the support from Eithne Nightingale and Mitchell Harris at Child Migrant Stories. For more information about any of the stories, plus many more, visit https://childmigrantstories.com/. We also want to thank our brilliant work placement students, Ioanna, Patty, Elisabetta and Lovely, for their passion for and commitment to the project.