KIE undergraduates embark on research in Egypt, Nepal

Twelve undergraduates working with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics are currently en route to Egypt and Nepal for a month of research with refugees. The students are participants in DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted, a program sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education that allows students to spend an entire semester engaged in team based research on the effects of displacement on refugee populations. The students have spent the first third of the semester skilling up on field research methods and beginning to understand the dynamics of migration as well as the social, health, and legal challenges faced by refugee communities across the globe.

Beginning this week, the students form two research groups, one engaging with Iraqi refugees in Egypt and the other Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. They will work closely with refugee families to collect photos and personal narratives. The information collected will allow for comparison between the two communities and become a resource for human rights practitioners and advocates. In the final third of the semester, the refugees’ stories collected abroad will be transformed into monologues to be performed by the students on April 21 at the Nasher Museum.

Both the Bhutanese and Iraqi refugee communities are priority U.S. State Department groups for resettlement to the United States, and many are settling here in Durham. This allows for continued engagement between students and refugee families on the local level, such as the current ESL and mentoring project begun by former DukeImmerse students.

Once a week, observations and photos by the students will be posted to the DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted page.