Refugee Camp Simulation

The project in brief

The project is implemented by Refugee Congress in the United States of Amerca. It began in South Dakota in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it's envisioned to end in 2024. 

Refugee Congress's primary mission is to involve anyone in the following categories: former refugees, migrants, immigrants, asylum seekers, LGBTQI and stateless persons by empowering them to voice their concerns in the United States.

Refugee Congress sends solicitation letters to resettlement agencies every two years in all 50 states. Besides reaching out to Resettlement Agencies and other sister organizations, Current Delegates are also required to recommend, through the present delegates, assist in guiding a person from their community to serve on the Board of Directors. In addition, we have several caucuses where representatives can be elected to serve on Advocacy and Communication, Membership, and Finance. We will restart the LGBTQI Women and Youth caucuses very soon.

In Louisiana, former and current delegates continue to share the vision of the refugee congress by holding monthly meetings and a yearly World Refugee Day event. Elected officials are invited and all those interested in learning about former refugees' challenges and accomplishments. 

In South Dakota, through the Refugee Congress platform, new immigrants, refugees, LGBTQI, and asylees are trainer through World Refugee Day celebrations. A mini refugee camp is installed, everyone can come to the event by going through the entrance of a refugee camp and experiencing what refugees have to go through before they can be accepted into a country of asylum. 

This simulation has been well received and has been a thing to look forward to the following year.

The project aims to teach students and their teachers to understand the refugee journey. We hope to inspire them to join hands in accepting and welcoming refugees.

Main activities of the Good Practice

The camp simulation project is still underway but had to be stopped in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clara Hart is the sole provider of the camp description based on her childhood memories of her stay in the refugee camp in Rutamba Camp in Tanganyika in the early sixties. This project has been her mission and vision and she wants to leave it for future teachers to use for social studies as long as people continue to be displaced or flee from persecution based on religious beliefs, gender identity, race, tribalism, economic status and political affiliation.

Partners involved

  • Caminando Juntos

  • Center For New Americans

  • Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls

  • Multicultural Center, South Dakota

  • League of Women Voters

Results of the Good Practice

Thanks to this projects refugees when asked about their home country or life in the refugee camps feel more comfortable sharing. They can better articulate their experience without fear or shame. 

Teachers become refugee allies because they have a better understanding of refugee children and their families.

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries

Team New Refugees Welcome (TNRW) works with refugee families for at least three months, depending on the individual family's needs - as one size does not fit all. 

Next steps

Yes, the project will continue and even extended due to the availability of tools like a real refuge camp.

Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?

Financially, to purchase the proper materials needed for the project. The materials are to get a real tent used in the refugee camp, the uniforms worn by refugee staff during food distribution, the measuring cup for cooking oil and grain or flour, and the IOM travelling bags.

Submitted by

Clara Hart

School and Home Liaison for refugees and Immigrant families, Honorary Delegate (South Dakota)

Contact the project