Vic students use tech to e-meet refugee
A group of Australian students has used technology to 'e-meet' a girl who fled war-torn South Sudan with her siblings after rebels shot dead their father.
Five teenagers at Melbourne Girls College, in years eight to 10, live-streamed with Lilias, 17, in her classroom at the settlement in Bidi Bidi, Uganda, to better understand the global refugee crisis.
The hook-up, organised by World Vision for its 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge, is believed to be the first Australian cohort to live-stream to a refugee settlement classroom.
Lilias, 17, left her mother in their home country before leading her four younger siblings on the two-week walk to Uganda in hope of a better future.
"There was a group of rebels who came and just called my father in the evening and just shoot my father up. They even refused the dead body to be buried," she says in a campaign video.
"It is because we have that fear of dying, we saw that our father was picked in front of us, we said 'let's come'."
With dreams of becoming a National Geographic photographer, Lilias turned the camera on herself to share how she helps people who've been through trauma and violence in Peace Clubs at the settlement.
"Peace is a hat of being free, loving one another," she told the Melbourne students.
"My hope is - let peace be there in South Sudan so we should go when the country is settle."
Student Lucy Skelton, 16, said it was important to remember refugees as individual people with their own stories and dreams, not just "as huge numbers" in need.
Another Year 10 student Lucy Vogel said: "(Lilias) is more than just the hardships she has been through, she is a real person."
About 68.5 million people are displaced or refugees across the globe, World Vision figures reveal.
World Vision's 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge which aims to raise money for young refugees, runs from next Friday until next Sunday.