Abdi shares his memories about fleeing from the African country of Somalia after a bomb exploded in his neighbourhood changing the course of his life.
SBS Learn
15 Jun 2015 - 3:54 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2015 - 11:34 AM

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In Clip 2, Abdi shares his memories about fleeing from the African country of Somalia after a bomb exploded in his neighbourhood changing the course of his life. He was 13 years old and playing soccer when civil war broke out. With only the clothes he was wearing, Abdi fled with a neighbour.



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Attitudes, Ethics and Citizenship

Question 1

Abdi describes his harrowing escape from Somalia in great detail. Write a recount of his journey to Australia.

Question 2

Compare the reactions of the three participants as they learn about Abdi’s story. How does your reaction compare to those of the group?

Question 3

Mike questions Abdi about using a passport in someone else’s name and whether he was prosecuted for this. Do you think it’s fair to prosecute asylum seekers who travel with false documentation?



Democracy, Duty and National Values

Question 4

In the clip, Mike talks about the importance of maintaining the integrity of Australia’s borders.

a. What does he mean by this?

b. How could Australia do this while still fulfilling its humanitarian responsibilities?

Question 5

Using SBS Census tool find out as much as you can about Somalis in Australia. Compare their statistics with another migrant population.

Question 6

In its report, In the line of fire: Somalia’s children under attack Amnesty International makes some key recommendations (pp.73-74) to ‘all states and donors’ i.e. the international community. Read the recommendations Amnesty International makes and outline how some of these could be implemented in an Australian context.



Human Rights, World Issues and Responsibilities

Question 7

Amnesty International reports on the effect of war and famine on children in Somalia. Watch the clip and learn about Abdi’s story. What points mentioned in the paragraph below did Abdi experience?

Children in southern and central Somalia are under relentless attack. Their lives are in constant danger and their hopes for the future have been shattered by armed conflict and grave human rights abuses. Homes are bombed, families killed, schools destroyed or closed. Much of the violence is indiscriminate. This report calls on the warring parties to end their assaults on children and for accountability for war crimes and other grave human rights abuses in Somalia.

Question 8

The UN Guidelines on Protection and Care of Refugee Children specify the needs of refugee children around the world. Read this sentence from the Guidelines and comment on Abdi’s dependence, vulnerability and developmental needs as he was fleeing his country in search of safety.

Three interrelated factors contribute to the special needs of refugee children: their dependence, their vulnerability and their developmental needs (i.e. their requirements for healthy growth and development at different ages). (Page 166)

Question 9

Many children around the world miss out on education. Read this information from ActionAidexplaining what the right to education is and why it is important. What are the benefits of receiving an education for an individual and for their wider community?

Question 10

Australia has a Mandatory Detention policy for asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a visa. The Refugee Council of Australia makes comment on this policy in its article An Unhappy 20th Birthday for Mandatory Detention.

Read the article and make a list of five figures about refugees you can find in the article. Include one figure about children refugees and mandatory detention in Australia.



Child soldiers
Somali communities in Australia
Border control


Download Class Activities PDF 



Amnesty International: Somalia
SBS Census Tool
Edmund Rice Centre: Debunking Myths about Asylum Seekers
War Child: Children’s Charity