The Refugee Doll Project

Refugee dolls are educational tools to be used in schools, libraries, and multicultural events to foster awareness of and appreciation for refugees. The dolls represent school children from the Islamic World, Central America, and Africa because refugees from these areas are heavily represented in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We encourage you to make your own refugee doll based upon the refugee populations in your state.


These dolls may be used with books, lesson plans, and service  projects that help children internalize the concepts of what it's like to be new, what it's like to be different, and how-to-be-welcoming. (Please see the appropriate tabs for more information.) 

We believe that using refugee dolls as a teaching tool may bolster the self-image of refugee children and may promote greater tolerance of new and different peoples among non-refugee children. These dolls will be donated to libraries, school, and to refugee families.

 I am indebted to the good people of Maine for helping me envision this project. Thank you to Danielle Fortin at the Lewiston Public Library, where their Somalian doll, Samira Ali, is so popular that she is kept out of circulation so her many fans may play with her.  Kirsten Cappy and Anne Sibley O'Brien, co-founders of I'm Your Neighbor, a project that encourages building bridges between old and new communities in Portland, Maine, spent valuable time with me in assembling The Refugee Doll project.