Norwich event teaches children about history of refugees

Lakenham Primary School pupils Lagshan Sivakumar and Maria Neto sampling purified water as part of t

Lakenham Primary School pupils Lagshan Sivakumar and Maria Neto sampling purified water as part of the Norwich Refugee Camp activities outside the Forum. Photo: Steve Adams

Refugee Week has been launched in Norwich with examples of the vital elements of a refugee camp set up outside the Forum.

A host of events are being held in the coming week to raise awareness of past and present refugees on both a global and local scale.

One of the event organisers, Nick Little, community librarian at the Forum, said: 'We have a history of refugees over 500 years in Norwich and Norfolk.

'Refugees brought canaries to the city, weaving skills and textile skills to the county, and we are here on Millennium Plain because of Flemish refugees. If you go across to Brussels or Amsterdam they have plains all over the place and that's why we have them here.'

Yesterday the year five and six pupils of Lakenham Primary School learned about the various different elements of a refugee camp.

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Stalls taught them about shelter and accommodation, food and nutrition with the British Red Cross, media and communications with Future Radio and BBC Voices and record-keeping with Norfolk Record Office.

There were also stalls for logistics and information with police and fire staff, health and medical with the British Red Cross and water and sanitation from Lifesaver.

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Emma Pick, year six teacher at Lakenham Primary, said: 'This has been really interesting for the pupils. We've done a lot of research before we came here and a lot of the children didn't know what a refugee is.

'Three of the children worked out that their parents could trace their roots back to refugees, so it's really important that they have been able to learn about the issue.'

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK.

How one teenager fled Nazi Germany to rebuild his life in Norwich – see EDP Weekend

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