Film Title: Learning is Their Future
Company: UNHCR—The UN Refugee Agency
Age Range: High School
Does not include teaching materials
Topic: Human Rights and Education
Subject Areas: Human rights, Nationalism, Racism, Immigration, Persecution and War, Government, Social Studies, History, Freedom
Film Synopsis: Through three different sections, portraying three different countries with a few different children, the movie shoes how refugee children are affected in terms of their education.
Running Time and Sections: 3 sections—11 minutes total
Imagine this. Imagine living in a foreign country, after being displaced because of war. Imagine going to school in a village with only three “schools” for over 3,000 children. Imagine sitting in class, not in a desk, but on a blanket that is covering the sand beneath you. Imagine listening to your “teacher,” who is actually only a person from your village that happens to have a little education and can teach some students how to read and write. Imagine having no books, no desks, no white boards, no equipment whatsoever. In this video, the audience is able to see how certain students’ education were affected because of their being refugees.
The first section, “Learning is Their Future,” describes a refugee camp in Chad. As the director of the school points out, “Education is the foundation on which society is built.” All the children in the camp want an education, and an education is important to them in order to survive. Fortunately, out of the 3,000 children in the camp, nearly 90% are attending school, in the midst of their chores. The second section, “Learning as a Refugee,” introduces the audience to fifteen year old Sterlin Quinones, a refugee displaced in Colombia, and his strive to continue his education. And lastly, the third section, “The Struggle to go to School,” is about various Iraqi children who are displaced in Syria. It is important to remember that most refugees, and students from different countries, can only attend school until they reach a certain age. Then, they are unable to continue their education because they become the “sole breadwinners” for their large families.
After watching this film, I find myself thinking twice before I complain about school or homework. I hope that next time you start to dread having to wake up early to go to school or do homework, you will remember the less fortunate and be grateful.