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Refugees and migrants: questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  15 August 2019

Read Fumbled knots (a refugee and his family) in the Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the following questions and activities.


  • How many children were there in the Ho family?
  • What was one of the few foods they had to eat on the trip?
  • How many people were on the boat that Elise Ho’s father came on?
  • What feelings do the poem raise in you?
  • How did Elise’s dad feel when he came to Australia?


  1. A number of Vietnamese migrants came to Australia in the late 1970s. In small groups take on a social studies project – looking at the reasons why they came, the conditions in Vietnam, the welcome (or not) they received in Australia. The project could investigate the history of Vietnam, the geography and the politics of both Vietnam and Australia.
  2.  There is a common saying along the lines of: ‘Strangers are friends that we haven’t yet met’. While it’s been attributed to various people, there is a poem, ‘Faith’, by American writer Edgar Albert Guest that contains a similar line.
    ‘I believe in the purpose of everything living:
    That taking is but the forerunner of giving;
    That strangers are friends that we some day may meet:
    And not all the bitter can equal the sweet;
    That creeds are but colours, and no man has said
    That God loves the yellow rose more than the red.’
    Either write your own poem about settling in a distant land or review Guest’s poem ­and what it means to you. 

New Friend Game

The objective of this game is for the children to learn about each other’s favourite things in order to develop new friendships and to introduce each other to the group.

  • Explain to the children that God wants us to make others feel welcome and that by loving others, we love God.
  • Pair the children up, making sure they are not paired with someone they already know. Tell them their job is to find out three things about the other person to share with the group: What is your favourite pet or animal? What is your favourite food? What is your favourite thing to do?
  • After a few minutes, gather the group together.
  • Have each child introduce his or her partner to the group by giving his or her answers to the three questions.
  • After all the children have been introduced, remind them that when they care for others, they show their love for God.


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