New York - The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today launched “A Refugee Camp on the Web,” an interactive website simulating the daunting daily challenges facing the 42 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes because of war or violence.
Visitors to the website “walk” through a refugee camp, encountering the most basic, yet overwhelming, concerns confronting refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), such as finding shelter, clean water, food, and medical care. The site features the stories and testimonies of real people – refugees from Somalia, Colombia, Sudan, Thailand, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other countries.
“A Refugee Camp on the Web” features 50 interactive slides spread among 14 chapters. Each chapter is named for the rudimentary questions refugees and IDPs must confront after they have been uprooted: “Where will I live?” “Where will I go to the bathroom?” “What if I get sick?” They may suddenly be confronted with cholera epidemics or malnutrition, or unrelenting emotional distress over not knowing if they will ever return home – all specific issues explored on the site.
The website is an outgrowth of MSF’s interactive exhibit, “A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City.”
First launched in France in 1995, A REFUGEE CAMP IN THE HEART OF THE CITYhas appeared in more than a dozen countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, and continues to tour internationally. So far, 1.5 million people have visited the exhibit, in which MSF field workers act as guides through the “camp.”
The traveling exhibit is based on the extensive experience of MSF working with refugees, IDPs, and migrants in conflict zones around the world.