It's your assembly - so how do you deal with this huge tragedy?

7th January 2005 at 00:00
Guidelines from the Church of England for assemblies about the disaster suggest teachers might start with a wrapped Christmas present and recall that, as many enjoyed their gifts on Boxing Day, thousands had their lives stopped by the tsunami. Then, it says, take a bottle of water and a glass of rice and try to imagine waiting up to a week for clean water and food.

Open a large sheet blanket and try to imagine having no home, no electricity, no bed, no clothes.

Give an encouraging report of the public response, such as the pound;89 million donated by people in Britain.

But explain that real help is going to mean more than giving cash and getting on with life as if nothing has changed. Real help is going to mean caring and not forgetting about others who need help, such as the people of Darfur - you could remind pupils of charity events held at your school before Christmas.

It suggests the following prayer:

"May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.

"May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done."

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