April 3, 2003
Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: April 3, 2003
VT - Students at Middlebury College will
hold a refugee camp simulation from Saturday, April 12-Sunday, April 13.
According to organizers, participants will adopt the roles of refugees
to gain some idea of life in a refugee camp and increase awareness of
refugee issues. The simulation, which is open to the public, will begin
at 3 p.m. as participants register according to the procedures of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Following assignments to
specified plots and grouping into family units, participants will receive
food rations and visit a mock medical clinic. Participants may remain
at the simulation until 8 p.m. and listen to talks by refugee experts,
or spend the night and stay until the simulation ends at 8 a.m. Sunday,
April 13. The event will take place in the College’s Kenyon Arena
on South Main Street (Route 30). Admission is free but registration is
the event, information on refugees around the world will be available
at information tables, and participants will have opportunities for informal
discussions among themselves. The evening activities will culminate with
several guest speakers. At 6:30 p.m., Allison Anderson Pillsbury of the
Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, a nongovernmental
organization in New York City, will give a talk. Her biography is available
on the simulation’s Web site at http://community.middlebury.edu/~umoja/mrcs/pillsbury.htm.
Immediately after Pillsbury’s remarks, at approximately 7:15 p.m.,
Hiram A. Ruiz of the Washington D.C.-based United States Committee for
Refugees and Immigration and Refugee Services of America will give the
keynote lecture. His biography is also available at the simulation’s
Web site at http://community.middlebury.edu/~umoja/mrcs/hiram.htm.
Both speakers will show slides during their presentations.
Hoyer, a Middlebury College senior and the event’s director, conceived
of the idea when he was working in the Palorinya Refugee Settlement, a
refugee camp in northern Uganda. He spent five weeks there as part of
a semester of study abroad in Uganda during the spring of his
junior year in 2002. During Middlebury College’s January semester
this year, Hoyer offered a workshop on refugee camp simulation that laid
the groundwork for this event and drew the interest of students who are
now working with him as organizers.
said the event organizers share a primary goal. “We hope that participants
will gain a greater understanding of refugee issues and inspire action
on our campus and beyond. Students, individuals and families are all welcome,”
event is sponsored and co-sponsored by a number of Middlebury College
organizations. The sponsors are Umoja and the Model United Nations, and
the co-sponsors are the Parton Health Center, The New Left, and the Center
for Campus Activities and Leadership.
more information and to register to attend, visit the Middlebury College
Refugee Camp Simulation Web site at http://community.middlebury.edu/~umoja/mrcs/,
or contact Brian Hoyer, director of the Middlebury College Refugee Camp
Simulation, at email@example.com