The Poem “Home” by Warsan Shire

The Poem “Home” by Warsan Shire


Printed handout with the poem or alternatively you can project the poem on a screen and go through the text by scrolling

Description of activity

Start the activity by asking the participants what “home” means to them. Have a short brainstorming session and write down some key words on a flip chart. Most probably you will receive answers connected to family, security, love, etc. Then ask the participants what could possibly make them decide to leave home. After receiving some answers from the group, give out the printed poem to each of the participants (or show it on the screen). Tell them briefly who Warsan Shire is – a British-Somali poet who has received numerous prizes for her work.


As the participants are sitting in a circle, tell them that you will read the poem together, as a group. Tell them that you will start reading out loud and any of them can join you at any time. They can read a word, a sentence, a paragraph…it is up to them. Voices can overlap and silence moments are also fine. The important thing is for everyone to jump in the process whenever they feel like and as many times as they want, until the whole poem is read out loud.


After the poem is read by the group, allow a short moment of silence. Note the emotions of the participants and then start a discussion. Ask them which was the most impressive word or phrase in the poem for them. You can silently go through the text again, so that everyone can choose the word/phrase, and then share.

You can ask the participants how they felt during the reading and now, after it – in one word. After a round of sharing, you can guide the discussion asking them also about their experience with working with refugees, or if they think that such an activity can be useful when working with young people and others, in order to sensitize them about the issues that refugees and migrants face globally.


Please note that this poem includes language and topics that require special consideration from the trainer and learners. It is important that you carefully preview the materials and know your group before doing this activity with them. Allow time and space for reflection, including individual reflection and sharing, if needed.

Apart from the poem provided here, you can also use other poems dedicated to similar issues related to migration, such as ‘The Sea Migrations’ by Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf, ‘Emigrant’ by Corsino Fortes, ‘Illegal Immigrant’ by Reza Mohammadi, ‘The Boat that Brought Me Here’ by Azita Ghahreman, and ‘They’ll Say, “She Must be From Another Country”’ by Imtiaz Dharker.

The poems encourage learners to step into migrants’ shoes or to see the issue through the eyes of those who are being discriminated against because they are perceived as different. Moreover, these poems help learners to understand what migration is all about and why people choose to leave their homeland in order to seek a better life elsewhere.