Press - Davos 2012
For the fourth year running, to coincide with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the ‘Refugee Run’ will offer attendees the opportunity for a personal, interactive encounter with the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The Refugee Run is not a talk session or discussion group. It is a simulation in which participants meet, for themselves, some of the challenges facing those who struggle to survive in refugee camps and a conflict environment.
Refugees often quote the old adage, ‘I cannot understand a man until I have walked a mile in his shoes.’ This event offers participants the chance to take a few steps in the shoes of refugees and IDPs in their battle with ethnic conflict, homelessness, corruption and disempowerment.
The Refugee Run is jointly organized by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the NGO, Crossroads Foundation. Its host team includes volunteers, refugees, IDPs and field workers.
“We want to bring a message to Davos so people will know more of the reality of life for refugees and IDPs and help find solutions,” says Raphael Mwandu, a former refugee from DR Congo. He and other refugees have helped guide the development of the experience to make it as authentic as possible. They also assist with the debrief where business leaders discuss ways they can engage strategically with refugees and IDPs.
Sir Richard Branson, after participating, said it was “Beautifully done”.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, described it as "A profound experience that reminds us of the plight of millions of forcibly displaced people.”
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder, said, “‘Everyone should do this. It will change the way you
Sir John Gieve of Harvard University called it “The bit of Davos I will remember for the rest of
The Refugee Run is open to all attending the WEF Annual Meeting, together with participants of the Open Forum, members of the Davos community and the public. It will be run four times a day, from January 25th to 29th. Times: 0830, 1230, 1500 and 1830, though alternative times can be arranged, if needed. It is conveniently located near the WFP tent at Holland House, 5 minutes’ walking distance from the Congress Centre: Symondsstrasse 11, CH-7270 Davos Platz.
SPECIAL NOTES FOR PRESS:
- RECOMMENDATION: Because simulation activity is a lesser known form of advocacy, it is possible to misrepresent the event and its intent. We welcome all press who wish to cover this story, but recommend you participate in a ‘Refugee Run’ before reporting on it to ensure accurate understanding. If our set time slots do not work for you, our staff will seek to accommodate your preference.
- PRESS SHOOT: In the past, some press units have wished to take additional footage, or conduct interviews, tailored to support their angle. If you need this, please let us know and we will book you in for additional footage/stills at a separate time, making our staff available.
- FAQs: This nature of this event is relatively new and we have therefore prepared FAQs to provide fuller context.
- 2012 PARTICIPANTS: As participants sign up, we will update the press regarding those of potential media interest.
Find out how you can help.
Stories of Support:
The IKEA Foundation is promoting local integration for refugees in Bangladesh and Eastern Sudan.
In 2008, PWC employees with corporate matching gave $4m toward the education of Sudanese refugee children.
Skype developed a low-bandwidth version for our staff to use in remote regions.
Microsoft and HP are donating software, hardware and funds for our Community Technology Access Program.