"A really great way of raising awareness of different issues around the world."
In June, we were asked to take part in a local school’s diversity week by setting up a prayer space for the Year 5 and 6 children. The focus of our space was on the world with a particular emphasis on refugees. Even though the space was visited by just two year groups, there were 240 children that engaged with the different activities over the two days we were there! There were fairy lights, mirrors, a large world map, hanging rucksacks and even an inflated full sized dinghy!
Some of the activities had information which was hard hitting: Human trafficking is not a thing of the past, refugees sometimes travel long distances with nothing more than a rucksack containing a few items, some people made the perilous journey across the sea in an over-crowded boat not built for this purpose.
Their time started off with a quick video explaining what prayer was and what we as Christians believed it meant. We moved on to explain the activities as well as showing some videos about refugees to give the children some facts. Many of the children did not know what being a refugee meant. As the children started to take part in the activities, the team joined different stations to discuss the case studies with the children.
Whilst at the “Refugee Rucksack” activity, one child commented, after looking through the few items the person had left, on how she needed to be more grateful for all that she had and how we often take for granted everything we have.
One of the favourite activities of the day was “World flags”. The children were given an opportunity to think about a country they or their family originated from or simply a country they wanted to think/pray about. It was amazing to hear how many countries were represented in each year group!
At the end of their time in the prayer space, the children were shown a video of how a charity was helping a group of refugees to encourage them to take what they’ve heard and think about the part they could play in their local context no matter how small.
The prayer space was a really great way of raising awareness of different issues around the world.
Anna Gaved, prayer space leader