Reading about refugees though scholarly articles and watching videos have helped me understand the legal requirements refugees have to undergo to accommodate into a new country. Throughout my research I’ve understood the struggles refugees go through; however, having the opportunity to use the Virtual Reality technology at Lehigh helped me have a first-hand experience with the issue.
The VR experience that I used was called “Forced to Flee” and it portrays the life of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Rohingyas are being persecuted because of their ethnicity by the Myanmar government and almost 1 million Rohinyas have been forced to flee. Most of the refugees found refuge in their neighboring country Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries which causes refugees to have lack of basic resources.
It was shocking to watch with the VR device the refugee camp in Bangladesh. I have been to refugee camps before in Costa Rica; however, this experience was different. The refugee camp I visited was not as populated as the one I saw in the VR. Rohingya refugees live in overpopulated camps with no medical resources, food, and water. One of the refugees from the VR said that her daughter was very sick and that she could not get basic medical resources. She also stated that it was a matter of time until her daughter died.
I was surprised by the quantity of children living in a refugee camp. It reminded me of the refugee camp I went to in Costa Rica, where there were mostly children. There were children from just a few days old to teenagers living in the camp. I could feel though the VR how much they needed basic resources and educational services to overcome their unfortunate situation. Now that I could do the VR experience I feel more passionate about the social issue. I would recommend this experience to anyone because it is a great resource to empathize better with the social issue that is affecting millions all over the world.
This website gives more information about the virtual reality program I did: