Oakland refugee camp exhibit highlights worldwide crisis


OAKLAND — To highlight the refugee crisis, Doctors Without Borders will display a reconstructed refugee camp beginning Monday at Lake Merritt.

“Forced From Home” is a free interactive exhibit that takes visitors through a 10,000-square-foot outdoor space designed to simulate the journey of refugees. Along the way, there are images and materials from refugee camps, rescue missions and emergency medical projects.

Those viewing the exhibit will be asked what they would grab if war came to their home and they were forced to escape. They also will be asked what obstacles might be encountered on their trek and how they would start a new life in a foreign land.

“Forced From Home” will have an outdoor exhibit, guided tours by Doctors Without Borders aid workers and a virtual reality experience.

Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian medical organization, estimates 65.6 million people are displaced worldwide, many of them refugees and asylum seekers.The traveling exhibit is intended to make people aware of the desperation of refugees and migrants.

“Our medical staff treat people uprooted by conflict and extreme violence all over the world,” Jason Cone, executive director of Doctors Without Borders’ U.S. division, said in a press release.

“Forced From Home is an opportunity to bring our patients’ stories to U.S. audiences, to humanize the refugee crisis, and to challenge political leaders at all levels of government to dramatically increase aid and protections for refugees and asylum seekers,” he said.

The exhibit will be at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center parking lot, 10 10th St., from Oct. 30 to Nov. 5. The free tours start 9 a.m. daily and end at 5 p.m., running every eight minutes.

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