International Rescue Committee educates Tucsonans at refugee simulation event

International Rescue Committee educates Tucsonans at refugee simulation event
Source: Tucson News Now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson is home to hundreds of refugees.

A simulation at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday provided anyone with a chance to 'Walk a Mile in a Refugee's Shoes.'

Nejra  Sumic, advocacy and outreach coordinator at the International Rescue Committee said, "We want to bring awareness that refugees are safe."

It all starts at the border.

People grabbed a name tag to represent the refugee they will be as they make their way through all of the stations. Crystal Faucett and her daughter had a firsthand look at life through the eyes of a refugee.

They learned about traveling long distances for water and that nutritional food can be scarce.

Josepha Ntakirutimana, a refugee said, "Food was not enough. Sometimes we were receiving rotten food. Not good. We could not eat it."

Ntakirutimana doesn't need a simulation. She's a refugee herself.

Her journey out of Rwanda began nine years ago. She relied on a refugee camp along the way.

"Life there was very difficult. I was not allowed to go out of the camp to look for a job," she said.

That freedom is available to her in Tucson. She still spends time educating and sharing her experience with others, like Crystal and her daughter.

Faucett described the message she'll walk on, "To be aware of the suffering of others. To not be stuck in our little bubble, you know. Recognize that other people have difficulties and we have to do all we can to help them."

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