The simulation exists as a stand-alone program to educate participants on the issues facing refugees, especially unaccompanied minors, fleeing gang violence, domestic abuse, and drug cartels in their home countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In a 25-minute interaction, participants experience:

  • reenactments of vignettes typical of the push factors that drive unaccompanied minors to flee their homes for safety;
  • reflections on root causes of the migration, with explanations on what is being done to address “push” factors by agencies such as CRS;
  • reenactments of potential options that face a minor who is detained at the US-Mexico border, including detention conditions, legal hearings, and likely outcomes;
  • explanation, through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, of proposals for what needs to be done to improve the treatment of the young people, the legal process that young people must undergo to prove their case as refugees, as well as options for what might happen to the minors;
  • opportunities to engage in advocacy, including a range of options from social media to petitions to advocacy emails; and
  • reflection and prayer to deepen the participants’ commitment to solidarity.

The four headings below (LEARN, PLAN, REFLECT, ADVOCATE) will give you essential background on the issue, instructions on how to set up the simulation, and resources for reflection, prayer, and advocacy.

To learn more, click on the four headers below.

Steps To Prepare This Simulation


We have broken down what you need to learn into 6 categories.


We give very specific information on what Cabrini University developed for our simulation.


While the simulation is action-filled, we set aside a time and space for personal reflection.


It is essential that we make our voices heard on this issue. Here’s some ways how..

CRS Honduras Country Director Juan Sheenan

Video of a simulation at Cabrini College. Video by Amy Held.


The Refugees Seeking Safety was first developed as a project in a Fall 2014 freshman social justice course at Cabrini College after a summer when an unusually large number of unaccompanied minors were fleeing to the United States.

The Cabrini students presented the simulation in two public settings, one at Cabrini Day in the fall and the other at Founder’s Day in the spring, both mission-focused opportunities for campus-wide education. Some members of the class joined the CRS Ambassador program and collaborated with their fellow Ambassadors to expand the program to the one you see here, which was developed for the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Cabrini College-Catholic Relief Services Partnership on April 14, 2015.A grant from CRS and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities supported the public presentation and website development. We hope that the simulation will be used by other campuses and groups.

Many students collaborated to develop the simulation. Those who worked to develop this website are Katie Briante, Mackenzie Harris, Emily Janny, Anna Laquintano, Marissa Roberto, and Ashley Sierzega.

Contact Cabrini CRS Ambassadors