My Life as a Refugee View website

What would you do if you were a refugee?

Developer description

We have just built and released UNHCR’s ‘My Life as a Refugee’ smart-phone app. The app is an ... More

Editor's review

Published 30 Jun 2012

There is a groundbreaking and multi award winning TV documentary series emanating from Australia called "Go Back To Where You Came From" that put six regular Aussies in the position of refugees who attempt the death defying boat trip from Malaysia to the North of Australia. When being put in the same position as the 'boat people' all six got an eye-opening look at the reason why someone would put their whole family on a rickety boat and risk their lives rather than stay in their own country. There are many reasons but, the bottom line is, they figure that it couldn't possibly be any worse then the living hell of where they have come from. My Life as a Refugee is an free educational smartphone application that puts you in the virtual position of the modern day refugee. You make the decisions on how you and your family could survive and the decisions you have to make to ensure you achieve that.
 
Every minute eight people are forced to flee war, persecution or terror. If conflict threatened your family, what would you do if each choice you have to make could be a matter of life or death. 'My Life as a Refugee’  is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) newly released smartphone application that allows  users to live the life of a refugee and encounter typical every day decisions with potentially devastating results. It hopes to make a real difference by raising awareness surrounding the inhumane conditions that refugees have to suffer. Imagine being so desperate to escape that you would pay your life savings to a people smuggler so you could pack your whole family into an unseaworthy boat and risk a terrifying and life threatening boat trip. Or the terror of being caught by the army you were fleeing from and the trauma of being separated from your family by war? ‘My Life as a Refugee' engages and educates players and compels them to wrestle with the same perilous dilemmas faced by millions of refugees worldwide.The three stories within this free app are based on the real-life experiences of families torn apart by conflict or persecution. The role play revolves around three main characters who have been forced to flee. Months or years of narrative are compressed into each of the stories. Players have to make decisions along the way in order to reach safety. The events and outcome of each story depend on the decisions that the player makes, resulting in a potentially different experience every time.
 
We are all happy to sit around and debate the plight of the refugees of the world till the cows come home but it always comes down to the same thing in the end. When things in your own country are that bad and life threatening the thought of jumping on a boat or climbing a fence or crossing a border into the unknown couldn't possibly be as bad. 'My Life as a Refugee' is a simple to use free application that raises awareness of the plight of the refugees of the world and gives the viewer some sort of an insight into their tragedy while we sit on our comfortable couch eating comfort food. Oh, and incidentally, of those six regular Australians I mentioned earlier on. By the end of the series they had all changed the way they think about refugees. Knowledge and education is what we are talking about here.

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