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safe place challenge

Safe Place Challenge

Published on 4 June 2019

On Friday 24 May, Christian Aid joined the Boys' Brigade's Cumbrae Camp 2019 to deliver our Safe Place Challenge to 85 young people.

The Safe Place Challenge is an interactive simulation event, developed by Christian Aid to engage young people with the issues faced by millions of refugees and displaced people who are fleeing conflict and disaster. Assuming the role of refugees, young people undertake unknown and unpredictable tasks in order to reflect on and relate to the challenges of displacement.


On a beautiful summer's evening in the picturesque sea-front setting of Millport, it was difficult to imagine the horrors of war, but the young people enthusiastically entered into the spirit of the challenge. The young people combined their initiative and problem-solving skills with tough haggling as they built a shelter, secured food and water, found medical treatment and negotiated their identity papers. They brought fun and team work and no small dose of charm to each activity station!

As the sun set, we gathered together to explore the young people's thoughts and feelings about the Safe Place Challenge. Although everyone had a brilliant evening of laughter and adventure, it was clear that the groups had experienced the frustration, confusion and vulnerability which affect many refugees on a daily basis. The young people described feeling infuriated, hopeless and annoyed, but were also thankful for the acts of kindness they received. While the officers and young people moved on to the evening's other activities, we hope we left them much to think about.

Thanks to the Boys' Brigade for inviting us to put on the Safe Place Challenge and to the officers for helping us facilitate the event. If your youth group is interested in finding out more about the Safe Place Challenge, please contact David Paterson at for more details.

Safe place challenge