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See the world through a refugee’s eyes with “ground-breaking” VR tech

A new VR experience is hoping to change perceptions and bring about policy change, by enabling people to see the world through a refugee’s eyes.

Action for Humanity partnered with Holdens to produce the immersive experience called Through My Eyes.

According to the Salford-based international non-governmental organisation, more than 1% of the global population are now refugees and this is a number which is likely to increase given extreme weather, food and water insecurity and unrest.

“At Action For Humanity, we firmly advocate for a shift in the perception of refugees and displaced people, emphasising the imperative recognition that their status is not a matter of choice. It is paramount to understand that individuals forced to flee their homes are propelled by dire circumstances beyond their control, something which could happen to any of us around the world,” explained Alifya Akberali, Programmes Manager at Action For Humanity.

“As our work focuses on restoring basic humanitarian rights for those who are affected, we want to share a small part of their journey and hardship to amplify awareness and foster empathy towards the plight of refugees worldwide, hence the title of the VR project ‘Through My Eyes’.

“Working with Holdens on this innovative VR project will provide users with a highly immersive experience by transporting the audience to virtual environments that simulate real-world scenarios which displaced people may face. We are excited to create an immersive experience that will enhance engagement and understanding among the wider community, as well as establishing an effective tool for advocacy towards ‘refugee friendly policy’.”

The Manchester agency said they hoped the experience would change mainstream perceptions and challenge the negative stigma towards refugees and asylum seekers across the globe by immersing people in realistic virtual scenarios to give them a visceral understanding of what refugees go through.

“We’re very passionate about doing work that matters, so when Action For Humanity approached us with this challenge, it was a no-brainer for us,” said  Ted Holden, Managing Director at Holdens.

“It’s vitally important the world starts to view refugees in a different light and this VR experience will hopefully go a long way to enacting necessary change in both perceptions and policy.”

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