Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey

App review by
Dana A., Common Sense Media
Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey App Poster Image
Incredible interactive story shows teen refugee experience.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Teens can learn about the global refugee crisis from the perspective of a teen refugee in Malaysia and gain cultural understanding, empathy, and respect for the dangers and challenges young refugees experience. Since it focuses heavily on the refugees' cell phone use, it can help teens gain perspective on the differences between how they use their phones and how this technology is used in crisis situations by refugees, and in turn it can encourage them to embrace differences in the lives of teens at risk.

Ease of play

Very easy to use. Leads teens through each step as if they're just using their own phones.

Violence

Disturbing raids, arrests, attempted sexual exploitation of a teen, trafficking, and death.

Sex

Discussions of attempted coerced sex.

Language
Consumerism

If users tap Find Out More, they're moved out of the app and onto the UNHCR.org website, where donations are solicited.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey vividly portrays the experience of being a teen refugee in Malaysia. The story centers on Kathijah, a 16-year-old girl from Myanmar, who must flee to Malaysia with her brother, Ishak: "She has no legal status, no support, no security. Just this phone." The app appears to "take over" users' phones, giving them the experience of being a refugee teen through seeing what they see on their own cracked phone, filled with urgent messages to separated family and videos of raids. Created by the United Nation Refugee Agency and meant to reflect experiences of real refugees, there's some potentially disturbing content -- forced separation from family, raids, sex predators, and talk of death. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use FINDING HOME - A REFUGEE'S JOURNEY read the intro paragraphs. Then tap on your phone's screen, which then appears to turn into Kathijah's phone screen. Tap the text message icon to view messages sent from her brother and choose responses to his messages. The app then leads users through messages, videos, phone calls, and photos to tell Kathijah's story.

Is it any good?

This is a powerful experience for teens who want to learn and understand more about the refugee crisis. The story on Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey was compiled through interviews with real refugees. When the user's phone becomes part of the app experience, the story takes a personal, real-life perspective that is both shocking and memorable. Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey can help teens empathize with refugee teens in a way that no news story can. And using the context of the device they use so often each day is both a powerful point of connection and a potential reminder of how different things could be, depending on their own experiences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about where to learn more about the global refugee crisis after watching one specific story on Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey. Read Common Sense Media's Where Do Kids Get Their News (and are there better sources)? to help your teen find reliable news sources.

  • This app may bring up many emotions for your teen. Ask them what they heard or read in this story that was particularly scary or troubling.

  • Empower your teen to do something to help. Some ideas: Make a donation to a refugee organization; call a political representative to voice your opinion; collect donations for a local nonprofit that assists refugees.

App details

For kids who love compassion and taking action

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