How might we create an experience for refugee kids that helps build confidence and fosters a sense of community?

Boise is a federally designated refugee resettlement area, meaning that many new Americans from far off places are making Boise their home. One Stone team members were interested in engaging with these new American kids, in an effort to welcome them to the community.

Through our empathy stage of the design thinking process, we learned that one of the most difficult things for refugee children is integrating into the school community and feeling confident enough to participate in activities with other children. In response to this, we developed “Spark” – an event in which we played games, taught sports skills, and held workshops like beading and soccer with refugee students in seventh and eighth grades at Boise Language Academy, a school that helps refugee kids integration into the public school system. Our goal for the event was to help develop confidence and social skills by encouraging all kids to get involved and participate in activities regardless of their backgrounds. Our team of student volunteers helped to show that it is easy to make friends and have fun with others even when they do not share cultural backgrounds or languages.