Touring the ‘Refugee Camp In My Neighbourhood’, offers a personal insight into the experiences of refugees, many of whom have fled war or persecution, and faced hardship and struggle in their search for safety and a better life.
STUDENTS from the Hilltop Road Primary School at Merrylands, will be among those taking a journey through a simulated refugee camp over the next two weeks.
Cumberland Council's 'Refugee Camp In My Neighbourhood' in the grounds of the Auburn Centre for Community, was developed in collaboration with more than 100 local community members from refugee and asylum seeker groups and will be open until Friday, August 11.
Tour guides, who are refugees or asylum seekers themselves, will guide participants through the free interactive exhibition while sharing their stories and recounting the challenges and struggles they endured in order to find a safe place to live.
Council spokesperson Adama Kamara says the award winning program, which is now in its fourth year, focusses on the importance of welcoming refugees into our communities and educating the wider public about the realities of life in refugee camps.
"Refugees and asylum seekers are people just like you and me," Ms Kamara said.
"But devastatingly they have been forced to make difficult choices due to circumstances out of their control."
Cumberland Council's interim general manager Malcolm Ryan says over the past 25 years, more than 20,000 refugees have settled in the area, and he invited residents to take a tour and deepen their understanding of the refugee experience.
"It also creates a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community, and meet the people from refugee communities who call our local government area home," he said.
One of the exhibition's highlights will be the free Journey's Picnic featuring camp tours as well as a showcase of traditional food, culture and games on Saturday, August 5, 10am-3pm. For more info, call 8757 9000 or book a free tour online at refugeeweekauburn.com.au.