The Refugee Journey: path of life

Discover the path of life of a refugee with this exciting board game and reflect on good luck, bad luck and life choices.

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Everything you need to play this game

A step-by-step guide to play the game


This game is played by 4 players. Each player gets a bottle top (pawn). The game starts at the top of the panel and ends at the bottom.


The first player throws a die.


The bottle top of the player will be placed on the image under the indicated number. For example: if a player spins 4 or 5, he will place the bottle cap or pawn below the angry father.


Now the player needs to invent a story, explaining why he was sent away from home by his angry father.


After the story has been told, another player will throw the die and come up with a story about the image he landed on.


If all players have invented and shared their stories for the first level, player 1 will throw the die again and will place his bottle cap on the indicated number of the second level. The player now needs to continue the story he started before.


By going through the different levels, you go along your life path, which is very often full of surprises. If you reach the bottom of the panel, you will reflect on what happened during the game: What did you do? Were you lucky or unlucky? What did you like about your imaginary life?


To end the game, you can talk about what you would like to change about your life path: Which options would you prefer and why? How are these options linked to your dreams in real life?

Extra game information

Below the main characters on the board, you see 4 rows, each representing a different stage of a refugee's journey. From top to bottom:

  • Reason for fleeing: war, family violence, natural disaster, repression, poverty
  • With whom?: alone, with parents, with friends, via a smuggler
  • Mode of transportation: car/truck, boat, train, plane, on foot
  • Environment: refugee camp with tents, independent living, welcoming family, police, border guards, refugee camp with containers
  • Future: passport, family reunification, travel by plane, giving inspirational presentations, graduation.

Above the drawings, you'll see different numbers, which are linked to the rotation disc or to a dice.


  • Make an additional row with pictures of different duty-bearers, e.g., a policeman, a teacher, a parent, a youth worker, the government ... Have the children turn the rotation disc again and let them continue the story about their character they started earlier. Make a new row by looking for pictures on the internet and printing them out or by drawing these pictures yourself (for example 1-2-3 Police, 4-5 Teachers, 6-7 Health workers, 8-9 Parents, 10-11-12 The Government).

  • Play the game with the duty-bearers you work with and have them think about different reflection questions afterwards:

- Do you reflect on the different backgrounds (their life histories) of the children you work with?

- Do you know if they have experienced some of the situations depicted on the panel?

- How do they talk to children about these experiences?

- ...

  • Find the storylines that connect to Ibrahim's story.

  • If children find it difficult to invent their own story, let them start from the stories of the five characters used in our education toolkit (Anna, Frederick, Julia, Ibrahim, Priya). More information about the characters can be found via

  • If possible and psychologically safe, ask the children about their own path of life. When doing this, make sure to prepare some questions beforehand. Some example questions are included in different games within this manual.

Specific learning objectives

Creative storytelling

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