Primary Current Assemblies
URBAN REFUGEES 4
The obstacle course
Reception and Key Stage 1
To encourage children to overcome obstacles in their lives (SEAL theme 4: Going for goals).
Preparation and materials
- Leader What do you hope to be when you grow up? (Invite answers from the children.)
- Leader It is great that so many of you have ideas of what you want to be and dreams of what you want to achieve. Sometimes, however, life puts obstacles in our way – a bit like this obstacle course laid out before you. It becomes harder to reach our goals when we have to overcome obstacles. Let’s look at these three examples.
Have three of your volunteers ready by the obstacle course. Then, read each of the ‘Example’ stories below in turn, each time guiding a volunteer through the obstacle course as you are speaking so that the volunteer goes through an obstacle on the course at the same time that you are describing one of the obstacles in the ‘Example’ story. The volunteers can sit down after they have negotiated the four obstacles.
Example 1 Rebecca here would like to be a singer like Demi Lovato when she is older.
Her friends tease her because she sings all the time and she has to learn to ignore them.
She has to stay in and practise singing and dancing when all her friends are out playing.
She gets so nervous that she is actually sick before a performance in front of the whole school.
She has to look after her voice and stay healthy, so she can’t do a lot of the things that her friends enjoy doing.
Example 2 Robert wants to be a footballer when he is older.
He has to train almost every day after school and has no time to play with his friends.
He breaks his leg and has to rest for weeks and then do exactly what the physio says.
It takes several seasons of playing before he is spotted by a scout.
He has to do exactly what his manager says all of the time.
Example 3 Sam wants to be a fireman when he is older.
His friends tease him and call him Fireman Sam.
He eats healthily and keeps fit.
He stands up to his friends when they are playing with matches.
He works really hard in science to understand more about fire.
Leader When there are obstacles in our way, it becomes harder to follow our dreams. When we experience failure, we can lose hope. When we make a mistake, we can find it hard to get up and try again. When bad things happen, we can become discouraged.
- Leader I want us now to look at the real-life stories of three urban refugees. They have all had to leave their homes and escape to big cities in other parts of the world to make new lives for themselves. They have all had to face many obstacles.
Have the remaining three of your volunteers ready by the obstacle course. Then, as above, read each of the ‘Example’ stories below in turn, each time guiding a volunteer through the obstacle course as you are speaking so that the volunteer goes through an obstacle on the course at the same time that you are describing one of the obstacles in the ‘Example’ story.
This time, also show the image of each refugee, as prepared above, for the duration of each ‘Example’ story and the volunteer negotiating the obstacle course. The volunteers can sit down after they have negotiated the four obstacles.
Show the first image listed above, of Tikaram.
Example 1 Tikaram had to leave his home in Bhutan in 1992.
It was a very hard thing for him to do to leave his home.
He then spent 16 years living in a refugee camp in Nepal.
When he arrived in New York in America, it felt very, very strange.
His wife cried for three months because she was so sad.
Show the second image listed above, of Wakil.
Example 2 Wakil, who is only 17, had to leave Afghanistan.
He had to leave home on his own because his life was in danger.
He stayed in Greece for three months in a small room with many other strangers.
The boat to Italy broke down and could not be fixed and the passengers had to wait to be rescued. He then travelled to London in a refrigerated lorry and was so cold he thought he was going to die.
Show the third image listed above, of Seneque Rosier.
Example 3 Seneque Rosier also had to leave his home.
Seneque’s home collapsed during the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2010.
He has been living with his family in a refugee camp ever since.
Seneque’s job is to empty the latrines – the toilets in other words.
When he has finished, he showers with special soap and sanitizer and throws away the second-hand clothes he’s wearing after each shift.
Leader These three individuals have had to work hard and endure much to achieve a better life. They overcame many obstacles. After four years in America, Tikaram and his wife now have jobs and their son has a scholarship to go to college. Wakil does now have a better life in London, but still misses his family terribly. None of Seneque’s family knows that he does this work in the latrines, but he is still proud he has a job to provide for his family.
Time for reflection
Rebecca, Robert and Sam have also overcome some obstacles, but will face many more before they achieve their dreams. Life can often feel like an obstacle course, so what can they learn from the real lives of the inspirational men whose stories we heard today?
What can we learn from the real lives of these inspirational men today?
Even if you struggle, you do not have to fail. You can succeed. You do not have to give up on your dream even if the journey is full of difficulty. You do not have to give up hope.
We give thanks for all the refugees all over the world who have not given up the hope of a better life.
Give them the strength to endure their struggles and the encouragement to follow their dreams.
We pray for ourselves, too, that we may learn to overcome the obstacles in our lives and realize our hopes and head towards the best future possible.
‘Guess how I feel’ (Come and Praise, 89)