Kids: Do you know what the word refugee means?

My grand daughter launched one of her video games by King.Com, and was presented  with a request for a donation to help the refugees flooding into Europe from the war-torn Middle East. That simple request became a deep discussion on what the word refugee meant, so I ask it here. Kids, do you know what the word refugee means? Do you understand who refugees are? And, do the images of refugees on the news scare you?

First, the simple definition of the word "refugee" is person who has to leave their home for safety. It is usually used for people who leave their country because of war, severe hunger, or a catastrophe like an earthquake. 

In the case of the thousands of refugees we see on the news who are going to Europe, the reason they have left their country is war. War--any war--is a terrible thing. People's homes are destroyed, and many people lose their lives. When a country cannot make people safe from violence, people fearing for their lives and the lives of their children try to move to someplace where they will be safe. I am sure your parents would do the same thing in order to make sure you were out of any danger and safe.

Refugees are just people--men, women, and kids--trying to find a new home where they can live, work, and raise their children in a safe environment. The difference between a move to a new city you might make and refugees is that these people have left everything they own behind in their old country. They have little money, little food, and very few belongings. The images of all these families struggling to find food, or piling onto boats and crossing the Mediterranean Sea can be frightening. If you are not sure about what you see and hear, talk to your parents or a trusted teacher about your feelings. If you want to know more, you can check out the United Nations Refugee Agency Kid Zone.

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