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“We are very pleased with the prayer space in our school. It worked out real depth, and shows who we are as a school. We’re always looking for opportunities to help the students to think about the meaning of life and the prayer space helps to form their identity. It’s an important consideration that I make everyday as manager: What suits this school at this time? The prayer space fits well within the task we have in the areas of socialization, personal development and civic education of our students. The prayer space was way more than just a quiet room. Often you see that those spaces are empty and not in use. But this time it was really alive."Bas Bastiaanse, School Director (Netherlands)

Refugee Rucksacks

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  • Refugee Rucksacks

Category: Prayer Activities Age Group: 7 - 11's Age Group: 12 - 16's Age Group: 16+

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During 2015, many thousands of refugees risked their lives (and many others lost their lives) as they travelled from the Middle East and Africa into Europe. People do desperate things when their lives are in unimaginable danger.

This activity encourages students to think about refugees who are leaving their homes and countries with little more than the rucksacks on their backs. It encourages the students to think about themselves, to reflect on their own homes and possessions and opportunities, and to imagine what it would feel like to lose almost everything.

This activity works well with printouts of some of the photos and case studies from Salvador Hernandez's Buzzfeed article, 'This Is What Refugees In Europe Are Carrying With Them'. Alternatively, this activity works well with a selection of everyday objects from which students have to choose a few to 'out in their rucksack'.

You may also like to use this video from AJ+, in which Amer, Hekbat, Muhammed and Seyid talk about the things that they've kept and lost on their long journeys.

To get started, please download the PDF.

This prayer activity was developed by Matt Rushby from BCY in Bury St Edmunds, and adapted by Ian Hayes-Anderson from Eastleigh.