children's resources By Grant Maynard

children's resources
By Grant Maynard
Welcome to the Lent Event
Children's Resources 2014
The clear-eyed wisdom of a child
“That’s not fair!” You wouldn’t have to spend long in
a classroom, playground or even a backyard before
hearing a child make this important assertion.
Children have a keen sense of justice and are very
willing to pursue it. This pursuit certainly applies to
schoolyard and backyard politics but it also extends
well beyond. When issues of global injustice are plainly
reported to children, their response is most often
compassionate, creative and generous. Children seem
to come wired for justice and sadly we often unlearn
this passion as we grow to be adults. Perhaps our role,
as adults, is to “call out” their in-built desire for justice
and help it to flourish.
These resources are designed to assist you in
this wonderful role. They esteem the God-given
compassion of our children and endeavor to explore,
inform and engage this concern across a range of
global issues. You won’t find explicit teaching aimed
at prompting a compassionate response. Too often,
we adults make the mistake of trying to “teach
compassion”. Teaching compassion, rather than calling
it out, runs the real risk of peddling guilt. And guilt is not
a healthy basis for action. What you will find in these
resources are simple, creative and engaging activities
that encourage children to further develop and inform
their compassion.
We also want to esteem the capacity of the children
in our midst to understand. The children in our schools,
homes and church communities are well able to
appreciate, grapple and engage with simple, and more
complex, causes and effects of poverty. More than
that, we often find that children are streaks ahead of us
“grown-ups” in passion, understanding and readiness
to act on issues of justice. So our starting point for
these resources is one of strength. We respect our
children’s compassion and their capacity to understand
the issues that affect our brothers and sisters who live
with poverty.
We have also made some assumptions
about those of you who will coordinate
and use these resources:
1.You are busy: We have made
the resources simple, with little
preparation and few materials
2.You are creative: We have employed
a range of creative strategies to
explore global issues and the work
of UnitingWorld’s partners.
3.You lead a unique bunch of children:
We have made the resources flexible
with regard to age, ability, group size
and liveliness. We encourage you to
further adapt the materials to your
group’s particular needs.
4.You operate in a unique context:
Perhaps your group meets in a hall or
a small room or outside. We have tried
to make the resources adaptable for
differing spaces and time frames.
We are deeply grateful that you have decided to accompany your children in grappling
with issues that are so close to God’s heart and we pray His rich blessing on you and your
children in the season of Lent.
Lent Event
Resource Overview
The Lent Event Children’s Resources are organised under
the following headings:
Projects in Focus
Outlines the themes and projects in focus for each week of Lent. Each week introduces the
general theme and program area that UnitingWorld Relief and Development works in, and
the rationale for doing so. See the links for more information about the projects in focus.
Heads Up!
A snapshot introduction for each country featured in the resource. These are
designed to give leaders and children a very short orientation to the country
or area that the session will be focusing on.
Tune In
Based on true stories, these fictionalised accounts were written to be used during
the service before the children begin their Lent Event session. The stories will
have most potency if told in a memorable way. Choosing a good storyteller, having
a story mat or even having the whole church come and sit together will all help
create a vivid storytelling atmosphere. Please note that whilst the stories are
based on true stories the names of places and people have been changed.
Warm Up
Activities to begin thinking about the topic. These curious games are designed to
encourage interaction, movement and also some thinking about the main idea of
the session.
Find Out
This is the main activity of the session. Each one is designed to stimulate new
and creative thinking about the key issues of the topic. The activities employ
storytelling, problem-solving, cooking and drama to engage the featured issues.
Act Out
These suggestions give practical opportunities to build on the things learned.
Children’s Resources
Week One - Introduction
What is poverty and what is it like to live in poverty
overseas? Is it really different from our lives in Australia?
In the year 2000, leaders from 189 countries came up with eight goals to help us frame
the way we see and respond to global poverty. These goals are called the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and focus on reducing poverty and hunger, child mortality
and the spread of disease, and improving education and gender equality.
The MDGs help us see that poverty is multi-dimensional: it isn’t just about not having money,
or not having a toilet, or not being able to read. Yes, people living in poverty often lack access to basic services,
but the causes of poverty are deeper than that. Poverty has to do with where you are born, where you live,
whether you were born a boy or a girl, whether you’ve had an education or not...and so on!
Over the next six weeks during Lent we’re going to be talking more about poverty. We’re going to talk about why
some people have access to education and health and why some people don’t. We’re going to talk about the
main challenges that people living in poverty face and how they can be overcome. Perhaps best of all – we’re
going to talk about what everyday life looks like for people living in poverty. We hope you’ll realise we’re not so
different after all.
Heads Up! - Planet Earth
Population: 7.1 billion
(2013 estimate)
The planet Earth is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places
in the solar system and it supports a dizzying abundance of life…
including just over seven billion humans. These humans live in an
amazing range of locations, with a vast spectrum of cultures and
languages and, for the most part, in harmony with one another.
Sadly, despite Earth’s abundant capacity, many of the humans
who live here are not able to adequately meet their most basic
needs. For example, around 852 million humans are hungry1.
There are global efforts afoot, like the Millennium Development
Goals, to address issues like providing vital education,
healthcare, nutrition and water to humans living everywhere.
And UnitingWorld works with local organisations through Church
Partners in countries throughout the Pacific, Asia and parts of
Africa to effectively combat poverty.
Lent Event
Tune In - Pumped
I stood at the pump with an empty jerry can waiting for a turn to spin the handle and fill my
container. It was not difficult to wait – in fact, it was a joy. All around me in the queue songs
were being sung, stories told, mischief made and news debated. It was hard work to walk for,
pump out, lift up and carry home precious drinking water, but the company of friends made
this hard work much lighter.
For a year our family lived in Africa at a project
supported by UnitingWorld that is working hard to
support vulnerable children. We joined the frequent
forays to the pump for clean drinking water. Most
times of the day a procession of people was heading
to or from the pump with wheelbarrows, buckets and
bottles. It was an all-ages activity: tiny tots carrying
juice bottles through to mothers balancing heavy
plastic barrels. Fetching water in this community was
completely normal and had become a daily time for us
to catch up, hang out and have a laugh.
To be honest though, we were not always keen to
gather our own water – it was often a drudge that took
time and frequently I plodded joylessly from the pump
to our home. Clean water, however, is something you
cannot live without so difficulties will be overcome,
distances will be covered and other work will be put
down to get our water.
In this snapshot of a perfectly ordinary task, repeated
in most places by many ordinary citizens in our world
every day, is a picture of poverty. Poverty is really
simple…and really complex! The following example
of poverty is really quite simple: if you don’t have
enough of something vital, like clean water, you’ll
pause all other activities to go and find some. This
means life’s other important tasks get interrupted –
tasks like schooling, childcare and farming. This is
unfair because globally we have the resources to do
something about it. More than unfair, poverty is also
at odds with the Kingdom vision that Jesus spoke
about, lived out and died for.
Poverty is complex in this way – most often poverty
is caused by a real tangle of issues. It is rarely a single
factor, like access to safe water, which causes the
sort of poverty that prevents communities from thriving.
Communities around the world grapple with conflict,
poor healthcare, lack of power, corruption and access
to basic services. Causes of poverty overlap and
amplify their effects.
Even though untangling poverty can be slow
and complicated, it is a most basic activity of the
Kingdom. Jesus talked about and demonstrated,
holistic transformation for all forms of poverty. All of
us, children and adults, who follow Christ are invited
to join His mission of hope. Over the next six weeks
our children will be exploring our world’s need for
transformation and some practical ways to do it.
They will be engaging with the vital work of
UnitingWorld in bringing hopeful, lasting change
through genuine partnerships to our brothers and
sisters who live in developing nations.
Immediately following today’s Gospel reading that
depicts Jesus’ temptation, he goes to Nazareth where
he spells out his mission:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has chosen me to bring
good news to the poor. He has sent
me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind, to
set free the oppressed and announce
that the time has come when the
Lord will save his people.”
(Jesus reading from Isaiah in Luke 4)
Children’s Resources
Warm Up - Tangle
Poverty usually results from a range of extraordinary
factors that enmesh to limit the opportunities of
ordinary people. This simple, maddening exercise
will help to illustrate the entangled issues that keep
our brothers and sisters poor.
1.Have children form a circle and then shuffle in until
they are standing shoulder to shoulder. Tell children
that they are about to tie a crazy knot that should be
possible to undo but will require flexibility, teamwork
and a healthy dose of patience.
2.Invite the children to hold out their left hand. They
should hold the hand (gently but firmly) of someone
on the opposite side of the circle. Next they should
do the same with their right.
3.At this point you should have an untidy tumbleweed
of children. Invite the children to carefully untangle
the knot by stepping over, climbing through, inching
around the others. The children shouldn’t break their
handholds unless they get on an impossible angle
Find Out - In Tents!
If you are thinking of the causes of global poverty,
you might not immediately think of a tent. In this
activity, however, the pitching of a tent makes a
useful illustration of the causes, types and effects
of poverty. For this exercise, a secure tent represents
a safe, happy and healthy family somewhere in the
world. To demonstrate the effects of poverty, this
activity will show the sort of calamity that comes from
uncontrollable setbacks during the pitch. This will
allow your children to see the way that poverty limits
opportunities, disempowers families and causes
conflict. It should provoke some curly questions.
It should also be a hoot!
You will need…
A tent that can be pitched inside.
Instructions for pitching the tent
(these can be fake!)
‘Distraction’ Cards [Handout 1] cut up
and glued together
Lent Event
– at which point they can release and rejoin. With
almost every knot it is possible to end up in a single
circle holding hands. Occasionally, you’ll end up with
either two inter-linked circles or a pile of children
laughing on the floor. Feel free to abandon a tricky
knot and start over. Feel free also to repeat the feat
if your group is having fun.
4.Whatever the outcome of your tangle it can illustrate
an important fact: poverty is normally a tangle
of circumstances that are slow and difficult (but
ultimately possible) to unravel.
Ask the children:
• What sort of things do we all need to live a full life?
• If we couldn’t get enough of one of these (e.g. clean
water) how might it affect other parts of our lives?
• How was our tangled knot like trying to tackle poverty?
1.‘In Tents’ will be more poignant and run more
smoothly with just a little preparation:
• Choose some adults or older children who can
easily pitch the tent and who will also ‘play up’
to the humour of the exercise.
• Invite the tent pitchers to ‘play along’ with
the distractions.
• Have a practice run at pitching the tent
2.Ask your children to form a circle around the
packed and rolled tent. Tell your group:
Let’s imagine that this tent represents a life for a
family. A tent that is well pitched – secure, clean
and spacious – represents a healthy, happy life for
the family. A tent that is poorly pitched, however,
one that has bits missing and is saggy, represents
a family that is failing to thrive – neither happy nor
healthy. There’s every chance that the tent will be
pitched well but sometimes things happen that affect
how it turns out…for the tent and also for the family.
3.Tell the children that they are about to see the tent
get pitched but as it goes up they may play the part
of a ‘distraction’. If they are given a ‘distraction’
card they should read the card out, turn it over and
do the action.
4.Invite the tent pitchers to begin work. It would be
great if they looked seriously at the instructions for
the tent before setting to work.
5.Give the ‘distraction’ cards to children periodically as
the tent is being erected. It will be up to you as to the
best times to hand out another card. Children may
act on their own or they may feel more bold acting
in pairs.
Here’s a list of the Distractions on
the cards:
• This family doesn’t have enough money for
day-to-day needs – take a pole away.
• This family didn’t have access to education –
take the instructions away.
• The water this family drank often made them sick –
tie one of the tent pitcher’s shoes together.
• This family lives in an area that is prone to floods –
flap the tent when they try to secure it.
• Not everyone treats this family very kindly – say
unhelpful comments like ‘I don’t think that looks right’
or ‘are you sure you know what you’re doing?’
• Sometimes this family gets picked on by their
government – tell them to move to a different spot
to pitch.
6.Just after the last ‘distraction’ invite the tent pitchers
to stop. Tell the children that the exercise is over and
ask what sort of situation the tent represents for a
family. This may lead to a wider discussion.
You could ask some questions like:
• Was there one thing that prevented this tent from
being pitched well?
• Did any of the distractions combine to make things
worse for the tent?
• What could have helped to build a more secure tent?
• How do you think this might be like real life for
people living in poor communities?
7.You could also ask the tent pitchers:
• How did it feel to be distracted from your main task
of pitching the tent?
• How do you think this might be similar to life for poor
families around the world?
• Were there ways that the distractions made you
stronger or more determined?
8.While your children are doing the next activity ask
your tent pitchers to have a second go at pitching
the tent (this time without distractions). When they
have finished, invite your children to think of ways
that the tent might represent a healthier, happy life
for a family.
You will need:
Paper (A3 would be ideal) and pens.
Following your discussion of poverty today it
would be fitting to help your children write a
prayer for the world. One way to do this is to
create a form of ‘encircling prayer’.
Your children may have heard the Genesis
reading in church today about The Fall. The
seeds of poverty are, sadly, within this story.
As a hopeful, glorious corrective to the despair
of The Fall, Jesus says;
“I have come in order that you might have life life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).
In prayer, this tension between a full life and the
pain of poverty can be drawn:
1.Invite children to draw a large circle. Inside
the circle they should write or draw the
things that would give ‘life in all its fullness’
to people around the world (e.g. clean water,
opportunities, education, love). Outside the
circle the children can write or draw all those
things that stop people around the world
from enjoying ‘life in all its fullness’ (e.g. war,
corruption, dirty water, lack of food).
2.As the children are writing, invite them to check
on the progress of the tent pitchers!
3.Once complete the prayers can be shared
by the children. Simply displaying them or
sharing them as a group is a form of prayer.
Alternatively, you could invite your children to
sit in a circle and take turns to say something
from their encircling prayer. The whole group
could repeat: “Circle them, O God” after
each statement.
Children’s Resources
Week Two Because everyone deserves...
a healthy life
Project in focus: Midwife Training in South Sudan
The relationship between poverty and poor health is like a cycle: poverty increases the
chances of poor health and poor health in turn traps communities in poverty. It’s a cycle
that’s hard to break. Healthcare can be expensive and families often have to make difficult
decisions about whether they spend their money on healthcare or food for their children.
And people who live in remote or marginalised communities often don’t have access to the
healthcare that could save their lives.
UnitingWorld works with church partners around the world to provide access to quality
healthcare by establishing health centres and mobile clinics in remote villages, and by
training workers to provide medical care.
In South Sudan, for example, where women in remote, traditional villages often die or suffer
health problems during pregnancy and childbirth, UnitingWorld supports a school that is
training midwives. Midwives are able to care for women during their pregnancy, help them
give birth safely and provide advice about how to care for newborn babies – even in the most
remote areas.
You can read more here:
Heads Up! - South Sudan
Population: 11,090,104
(July 2013 est.)
South Sudan is currently the world’s ‘newest’ country. There was
a terrible war in Sudan for around twenty years and when the war
recently ended, South Sudan was able to form its own country.
Even though it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011
there are still some serious problems for this young nation.
Lack of access to water, continued fighting and very few hospitals
and trained medical staff are some of the most worrying troubles
for South Sudan. UnitingWorld is supporting pregnant mothers in
South Sudan by training local midwives. These midwives provide
crucial care to mothers and babies – they give advice during
pregnancy, support during birth and they help care for newborns.
Now in the areas where Uniting World’s partners work, the
youngest members of the world’s youngest nation are getting
the care they need to thrive.
Lent Event
Tune In - Flat Out
The minibus lurched sideways to avoid the rock, only to drop jarringly into a pothole. Dust
rained down from the ceiling. Barnabas’ neck wobbled in unison with the bus. He stared out
at the shimmering waves of heat haze lifting off the plain, and was lost in thought. Barnabas
was nestled in between a sack of maize and his heavily pregnant sister Teresa. The bus that
had eight seats now had eighteen passengers. Barnabas felt a sickly mixture of excitement
and responsibility, pride and fear. His family had chosen him to accompany Teresa to the
health clinic in Gogrial for her final check-up. Now the day had come and he hoped he could
help keep his sister and her precious cargo safe on their journey.
Barnabas was now eight years old. This was his first
ride in a minibus. He loved the feeling of hurtling
through lands that he usually saw at walking pace.
Being a considerate brother, Barnabas nudged his
sister and offered her the last of his drinking water.
She looked hot and it was all he could do to help.
Before she had drained the bottle, the minibus
shuddered to a stop next to a towering baobab tree.
Teresa spilt some of the water on the seat in front.
The driver barked the name of the stop and the sliding
door was opened. Recognising the name, Barnabas
tapped the passenger in front of him so that he and
Teresa could get out.
Stepping out of the van, Barnabas and Teresa looked
along the walking track that led to the clinic. Barnabas
didn’t even pause. Although they had a long way to
walk, he was determined that they should visit the
clinic today. He wanted his sister to receive the very
best care that could be found. His determination came
partly because he loved his sister and partly because
Barnabas knew that his own mother had died just after
he was born. Barnabas figured that if Teresa could get
the right sort of care, she wouldn’t be in danger like his
mother had been.
In what seemed like an instant to Barnabas, the details
of the clinic slowly came back into focus. Then he
heard the gentle laughter. More than a dozen ladies
– pregnant mothers, nurses and volunteers – had
formed a circle around Barnabas, waiting for him to
wake from his faint. Now that he had opened his eyes,
a friendly peal of relieved laughter rippled around the
group. To others looking on, it may have looked and
sounded like a flock of chickens admiring a new chick.
Now Barnabas felt sick. He must not allow himself to
feel sick. He sat shyly under the colourful poster while
Teresa went in to speak with the midwives.
Even as they travelled home in the minibus that night
Barnabas was not exactly sure why he had fainted.
Was it lack of water? The long walk? Or perhaps the
weight of responsibility had caused it. It didn’t matter
now. Bumping around in his seat, wedged between
Teresa and a basket of chickens, Barnabas felt warm
with pride. Teresa had received the care she needed,
the care his mother could never have had, and he
had helped.
After a stifling trudge they reached the little maternity
clinic at the edge of Gogrial. Barnabas walked into the
crowded clinic ahead of Teresa and was surprised to
find a stuffy room, filled with young women, some of
them as heavily pregnant as his sister. As Barnabas
looked around for a seat for his sister he spied one
right under a colourful poster showing the stages of
pregnancy and labor. Suddenly, the poster swirled and
blurred and the seat beneath it drifted away.
Right there in the clinic, Barnabas fainted.
Children’s Resources
Warm Up - Healthy Helmet Heads
Healthcare is a complex and vital issue for any community. A good way for children to start
thinking about health is to think of all the things that help them stay healthy. This game
should kick start that thinking.
You will need:
Two bicycle helmets (and hairnets if
you are concerned about headlice!)
Health Cards [Handout 2]
1.Tell children that it is great to be healthy and that in
most parts of Australia we can get great access to
the people and things that help to keep us healthy.
2.Ask your children to suggest a few things that we
do or have to stay healthy (e.g. healthy food, safe
medicines, trained doctors).
3.Invite two volunteers to come out the front and put
on the helmets. Tell the children that good healthcare
is like a good helmet – it can help protect us from
sickness and disease. There are things we have
access to that act like shields to keep us healthy.
4.Now invite the children to play a game, similar
to Celebrity Heads, where you stick a card with
something that helps keep us healthy [Handout
2] onto the front of each of the helmets and the
volunteers try to guess what it is.
5.The helmet wearers will try to guess the word stuck
on their helmet by asking questions to the rest of
the group. They must only ask questions that can be
answered with “Yes” or “No”. For example, “Am I a
6.If a helmet wearer asks a question and gets a
“Yes” they can ask another. They may keep asking
questions until they get a “No”. When they get a
“No” the other helmet wearer gets a turn.
7.The first helmet wearer to correctly guess their health
word wins. You may allow the winner to stay standing
and invite another challenger to wear the helmet.
8.It might be merciful to do a practice round with the
leaders before giving the children a go.
At the end of the game remind the children that we all want to stay healthy so:
• What sort of things do we do or have to stay healthy?
• Do these things always work? What do we do if we become sick?
• What would happen if we took away just one of our shields like clean water, enough food
or medicine? What differences would that make?
• Why might a newborn baby or a pregnant mother need more healthcare than other people?
What extra care might they need?
• In the story of Barnabas and Teresa, how was the clinic a shield?
Lent Event
Find Out - Roll Role Play
To think more deeply about healthcare your group could play this simple simulation
game. This game uses sanitation and hygiene as a theme but could equally apply to
maternal health or nutrition.
You will need:
1 Die
1 Roll of toilet paper
1.Invite students to form a circle and tell them that you are about to play a game to show how easily an
infection can spread in a community and how important good healthcare is. It is a sad fact that around the
world, sicknesses like diarrhoea (that occur when children drink unsafe water) are responsible for many
deaths. Of course diarrhoea is preventable and most often treatable, but not everyone has access to safe
water and good healthcare.
2.Ask the children to imagine that somehow they have
drunk some unclean water. Some children will be
unaffected but some may become quite sick. To see
how everyone fares, you will take turns rolling the
die. With each roll of the die you may be given some
pieces of toilet paper. You will be told at the end what
your pile of toilet paper means about your health.
3.Play the die rolling game for about five rounds.
Ask the children to count up how many sheets
of toilet paper they now have.
Each number on the die has a different
result. If you roll:
1 = 1 piece of toilet paper
2 = 2 pieces of toilet paper
3 = 3 pieces of toilet paper
4 or 5 = you miss a turn
6 = 6 pieces of toilet paper
4.Tell the children that you will now “diagnose” their imaginary sickness:
Sheets of Toilet Paper
Less than 5
Between 5 and 15
Over 15
You feel grotty. You have an unsettled stomach. It is unpleasant but not
dangerous. Be very careful to wash your hands well with soap and water to help
prevent others from getting sick.
You feel terrible. You have a serious case of diarrhoea. If you can drink clean
water and get some rehydration mixture you will recover well.
You are very ill and in danger of dehydration. You really need to visit a
healthcare centre to receive rehydration treatment.
At this point be ready for some over-acted scenes of imaginary sickness.
5.This game has one last step. Tell the children that you did not mention where everyone drank the unclean
water. If you are sick in most places in Australia you can get good healthcare. If you were living somewhere
like South Sudan in Africa, however, it might not be so straightforward.
Children’s Resources
6.Ask those children with five or more sheets of toilet paper to make one last roll of the die. This roll will
decide where you are and how you get treatment. Ask children to sit in groups according to the number
they roll. Once everyone has had a turn read their treatment options:
Number Rolled
Treatment Options
1 or 2
You live in Australia and your chances of recovery are excellent. You have access to good
medicine, clean water, a safe toilet, rehydration fluids and if necessary, a well-equipped
3 or 4
You live in South Sudan and your chances of recovery are good. There is a health clinic
not far from your village so if you fail to recover at home you could get some medicine and
advice there.
5 or 6
You live in South Sudan far from any healthcare facilities. You may well recover from this
illness if you can get access to clean water but it will be difficult. Your chances of recovery
aren’t as good as the others.
7.This would be a good time to discuss the ‘fairness’
of living in a developing country like South Sudan
where healthcare options are limited. Being able to
stay healthy shouldn’t be like rolling a die. Everyone
deserves a healthy life.
9. Here are a few starting questions:
8.In today’s readings is the wonderful truth:
‘For God sent his Son into the world not to judge
the world, but so that through him the world might be
saved’ John 3:17 (NIV). It would be great to share
this passage with your children and unpack what it
might mean for healthcare around the world.
• Jesus is no longer visibly with us so who is able to
continue his good saving work?
• What sorts of things in the world need to be ‘saved’?
• Where do we see Jesus ‘saving’ something or
Act Out - Bathroom Signs
Basic healthcare is an area where we should try to foster ‘hopeful concern’ amongst our children.
Much has been done to improve healthcare for the world’s most vulnerable and UnitingWorld’s healthcare
initiatives in South Sudan are simply some of the reasons we have to be hopeful. At the same time, it is deeply
concerning that we live in a global community that continues to allow needless, preventable, treatable illnesses
and complications to claim the lives of people in places like South Sudan.
One way to foster this ‘hopeful concern’ is to
invite your children to create some signs for
their bathroom at home.
The water from this
tap is safe to drink.
How wonderful!
Next to the tap:
The water from this tap is safe to drink.
How wonderful!
Above the toilet roll holder:
As you sit here, please feel free to pray
for people around the world who don’t have
such a clean, flushable miracle of a toilet.
Lent Event
Week THREE Because everyone deserves...
to be included
Project in focus: Partnering Women for Change
We know that God values all people equally. We also know that God creates every person
with talents, gifts and dreams for the future. But many people who live in poverty around the
world today face barriers which hold them back from participating in all aspects of life. These
barriers include living with a disability, your gender or even your age.
80% of people living with disabilities today live in developing countries and are often unable
to access basic services such as education and healthcare and are often excluded from
employment and activities. Likewise, in many parts of the world today girls are less likely to
go to school. Women face discrimination and have fewer opportunities to engage in economic
and political life.
All across the Pacific women are central to family and community and are active within the
local church. But women also face many challenges, including lack of access to economic
resources, a limited role in community decision-making and vulnerabilities to gender-based
violence. In Kiribati UnitingWorld and the Women’s Fellowship are focusing on training
women, primarily from remote islands, in business skills. Women of all ages participate in
training and are then encouraged and supported to organise small-scale workshops with
women in their own communities, sharing skills and learning on a larger scale.
You can read more here:
Heads Up! Kiribati
Population: 103 248
(July 2013 estimate.)
Pronounced “KIRR-i-bas”, Kiribati is a Pacific nation made up of
32 coral atolls. With a total population of just over 103,000 Kiribati
straddles both the Equator and the International Date Line.
Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, is about halfway between Australia
and Hawaii. Kiribati could seem like a Pacific paradise (and it
is!) but it also has some serious problems. Kiribati is one of the
poorest nations on the planet and is likely to be the first country
in the world to lose all of its land to the effects of climate change.1
There are concerted efforts being made to address both climate
change and poverty in Kiribati.
UnitingWorld is empowering local women in Kiribati to be better
trained in business skills. This training helps them develop and
grow small businesses. Just as important, the training enables
women’s important voices to be heard in their communities.
Children’s Resources
Tune In - A Battered Red Bucket
Marie half ran, half fell along the grassy track toward the bore, slapping
big leaves out of the way. Immediately behind Marie, a battered red bucket,
attached to her shoulder with a blue rope, happily drummed and danced
along the path. Behind the bucket was Tessie, Marie’s best friend, giggling
and striving to keep up. Behind her was the girls’ village - a sprinkling of
neatly thatched homes dwarfed by the palm trees.
Marie and Tessie tore past the little health clinic where
a line of people sat hunched on a bench
waiting to talk to the nurse.
to wind up the rope that carried a metal container from
the well below. They carefully filled their buckets to the
“Ko na mauri!” greeted Marie as she sped past.
“Mauri!” came the reply.
As they waited Tessie and Marie chatted, splashed the
boys, cleaned their buckets and sang quietly. When
their turn came, Tessie helped Marie to fill her bucket.
It was normal for children to help each other but Marie
needed a little extra. Marie’s left arm was not like her
right one. It was stunted and a little twisted. It had
always been this way and normally Marie didn’t even
think about it. But it did make it hard to fill her bucket.
Tessie strained to lift the bucket up onto Marie’s head.
As the bucket came to rest on her head a sudden slop
sent a stream of cool water down the back of her dress.
She and Tessie laughed and headed for home.
Marie rounded the last bend before the well and
jumped down to take her place at the end of the line
of children waiting to fill their own battered buckets
with clean water. Marie and Tessie had run all the way
from home to the well as soon as they had swapped
their school bags for buckets. Still, their short legs had
not carried them as quickly as the big children from
the village so they had to wait their turn. At the head
of the line two boys stepped onto the rock platform
built beside the well. Here they could turn the handle
All children on the island had to be strong but Marie
liked to think she was even stronger. She had to make
this trip to the well and back again three times every
day and she could hold her heavy bucket with only
one hand. It made her feel a bit proud. There were
some children who teased her about her arm - some
whispered when they thought she couldn’t hear and
some openly pointed and laughed. Marie felt hurt by
the whispering and the pointing, but she also hoped it
was helping her to become stronger in another way.
“Mauri!” came the reply.
Marie and Tessie tore past the school where the
biggest boys and girls were still sweeping the
classrooms and dusting the old blackboard. Soon
they would be heading home and beginning
their afternoon chores. The girls’ bare feet thumped
the ground as they passed.
“Ko na mauri!” puffed Tessie as she sped past.
Lent Event
Warm Up - Touch Car
NB – Your children’s group may include a member with a disability. Discernment and
sensitivity will be required in the way you include them. You will know best as to whether
they would like a chance to chat about living with their disability or whether they would
prefer to stay quiet.
To help your group start thinking about living with a
disability it may be good to experience a temporary loss
of a sense – in this case sight. Before you begin, invite
your children to come up with a list of disabilities they
know people are living with.
You will need…
Masking Tape (optional)
1.Set up a simple maze using rearranged furniture
or masking tape paths.
2.Invite pairs to line up at the start of the maze.
One partner will be the ‘driver’ and the other will be
a blind car. The aim will be to navigate through the
maze without crashing.
3.The blindfolded partner will be the ‘car’. The partner
who is the ‘driver’ will control the ‘car’ using touch.
The ‘driver’ cannot control the ‘car’ using speech.
Instead, if the ‘driver’ wants the ‘car’ to go forward
they should touch the ‘car’ between their shoulder
blades. If they want the ‘car’ to go left they should
touch the left shoulder blade. To go right, they touch
the right shoulder blade. If the ‘driver’ wants the car to
stop they simply stop touching the car.
4.Once the controls are explained, give each
partnership a chance to navigate the maze.
You could have time trials or give points for the
most accurate trip or simply give everyone a go.
Of course, the partners will be keen to swap roles.
5.After everyone has had a go, have a quick chat about
how it felt to lose sight and trust the ‘driver’. Ask what
was difficult about the task or what was required to
navigate safely. You could relate this to the rest of life
and ask what sort of assistance is required for people
with impaired sight or other disabilities. Finally, ask the
group if there may be any extra challenges for people
living with disabilities in poorer communities.
This would be an appropriate point to reflect a little on
today’s Gospel reading with your group. In John 4:
5-42 Jesus beautifully restores a woman’s faith by
carefully revealing truth to her. To do this, Jesus acted
in a way that seemed like madness to his friends. The
person he spoke to was a woman and a foreigner.
Even though speaking to her was not thought to be
respectable, Jesus was able to transform the woman’s
life and, in turn, she inspired many people to follow
Similarly, in the Pacific, Uniting World’s church partner is
assisting women from many Pacific Islands to have a
voice in their community. In other places, UnitingWorld
works to make sure people with a disability are
included. Girls and women and people with disabilities
face big challenges, but it’s important we see them as
Jesus sees them – strong, capable and very important
in the Kingdom of God.
• Invite your group to think of the group and individuals
that your church currently works with, serves and
welcomes. Are there some “unexpected” people in this
list? Are there people on the list that people outside the
list might find surprising?
• Now ask your group to make a second list. Try to make
a list of people who your church could work with (e.g.
refugees, homeless people, people with disabilities).
Encourage your group to be bold. If Jesus served in a
risky way it may inspire us to do the same.
• When you’ve finished the list consider sharing it with
the rest of the church!
Other questions you could ask:
• How do you think Marie would like people to see her situation?
• Does including people with disabilities transform their lives? How?
Children’s Resources
Warm Up - Boys are stronger?
Today’s session centres on the need to include everyone in community activities. Globally
there are still worrying gaps in many communities that exclude people with disabilities and
also women and girls from essential community activities like education, decision-making
and employment. This Warm Up seeks to explore the various views of gender and inclusion
that exist in your group. This activity uses a technique, often called an ‘Oxford debate’,
where people show their opinion by standing on a line between Agree and Disagree.
1.Assign one end of the room to be ‘Strongly Agree’ and
the other to be ‘Strongly Disagree’. Tell your group that
you are going to make a statement and they should
stand where their opinion is. Help them to understand
that they can stand in the middle if they are Unsure (or
Don’t Care!) and can show how much they agree or
disagree by moving further along the line. It would be
helpful to have a few fun rounds first.
2.Make a statement like: ‘Red is the best colour’ or
‘School should run on Saturday and Sunday and the
rest of the week should be like a holiday’. Give the
members of your group time to decide where to stand.
Encourage them to show what they think rather than
simply sticking with friends’ opinions.
3. Once the children understand the idea, say each of
the statements below and allow everyone to find their
spot on the continuum.
• It’s more important for a girl to learn
to do housework than for a boy
• Girls and boys are different but they
should be treated equally
• Around the world women work
harder than men
• Boys are stronger than girls
• Around the world, more girls are able
to go to school than ever before
4. For each statement, take some time to explore the
opinions within your group. You can point out trends
(e.g. ‘Wow, everyone agrees on that’ or ‘Look all
the boys are at that end!’) or respectfully ask some
children to explain why they are standing in a particular
spot. It is worth asking your group to respect other
opinions, even when they don’t agree, to help avoid
insults and put-downs.
Lent Event
5. When you have tried each of the statements out
you can tell your group that around the world, steady
progress has been made towards equal access for
boys and girls to education. This is fantastic news but
there is still plenty of work to be done to make life fairer
for women and girls. According to the United Nations
2013 Millennium Development Goals Report, girls
around the world still don’t get a fair chance to finish
high school:
“Poverty is the main cause of unequal access
to education, particularly for girls of secondaryschool age. Women and girls in many parts
of the world are forced to spend many hours
fetching water, and girls often do not attend
school because of a lack of decent sanitation
facilities [toilets]. Child marriage and violence
against girls are also significant barriers to
education. Girls with disabilities are also less
likely to go to school. If they get pregnant,
many girls drop out of schools”
One way to foster a better understanding of the
millions of children who live with a disability is to
simply experience a voluntary disability. Encourage the
children in your group to try to do a routine task during
the week with a ‘disability’. Here are a couple
of suggestions:
1.Evening meals – try eating an evening meal with
a disability. A blindfold, earplugs or leaving an arm
inside your shirt may make the meal seem quite
2.Getting ready for school – school preparation can
be frenzied as it is, but a disability may make it even
busier. Try using only one leg or wearing a blindfold.
Invite your children to report back next week on
the challenges, failures and triumphs of their
voluntary disability.
Find Out - Village Snapshot
The following activity is loosely based on Augusto Boal’s ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’
techniques. One of the things Boal became famous for was doing away with the audience
and inviting all participants to become ‘spectactors’. By ‘stepping into’ a snapshot from
village life in Kiribati, children can deeply appreciate the joy and difficulty of being a child
living in this remote Pacific community…
1.Invite children to sort themselves into pairs. Allow a
short time for each partnership to re-tell Marie’s story
to each other as a way of tuning in for the activity. Ask
the group what sorts of tasks the children in the story
were engaged in.
2.Tell the children that, together you are going
reconstruct a snapshot of the busy water gathering
outside the village. To make a good picture the
children will take turns being either a ‘sculptor’ or the
‘clay’ – making a person from the story of the well in
3.Ask pairs to decide who will be ‘sculptor’ and
who will be the ‘clay’.
Advice for ‘sculptors’:
• Decide on an interesting pose and (gently) move
your clay into the exact pose you are aiming for. Tell
your partner which character from the story
you are trying to mould them into.
• Once your ‘clay’ has the stance you are after, politely
ask your ‘clay’ to take on the facial expression of the
character you have in mind. You can ask them to
show a certain emotion (happiness, boredom, worry)
or you can make specific instructions (for example:
“Open your mouth a little more”, “Turn your eyes that
Advice for ‘clay’:
• Try to follow the guidance of your ‘sculptor’. If they
are making a pose that is not possible for you to
keep for more than 10 seconds, let them know.
Once your ‘sculptor’ is happy with your pose try
to keep absolutely still. You’ll look fantastic.
• Try hard to think about your facial expression and
how it might look. It is hard to maintain a frozen
facial expression - choosing a spot on the wall
to stare at might help.
4.Once the ‘sculptors’ have been given time to
complete their masterpieces have a quick exhibition!
At this point you will need to take on the part of
the ‘director’. Ask the ‘sculptors’ to position their
‘clay’ in a spare space in the room. Let the clay
know that you will give them a count of three to
get into position then you will say “CLICK!” (like
a camera) and they should freeze. They should
remain frozen for about ten seconds to give the
‘sculptors’ a chance to look around the room. After
the ten seconds ask the ‘clay’ to relax. Tell the clay
that they are about to become ‘sculptors’ and that
they should try hard to remember their exact pose.
5.Repeat this process after swapping the ‘clay’ and
‘sculptors’, including the exhibition.
6.Now your job as ‘director’ gets really interesting.
Ask all the children to stand in front of you and give
them the same instructions as for the exhibitions.
Once all the ‘clay’ has relaxed tell the children
that you are going to move them around the space to
form one big frozen snap shot of the village. Carefully,
construct a picture moving the children into position.
Once you are content that you have made a realistic
picture use the:
“1…2…3…CLICK! ...1…2…3…Relax”
instruction to try out your snapshot. Make minor
adjustments as necessary.
7.This is where the Village Snapshot really comes alive
for your group. Now that you have an impressive
image, invite the children to think of a single sound
or word they could make as their character in the
snapshot. It may be a laugh or a groan or “Hey!”
Let the children know that they will reform their frozen
image but this time, for one second, it will come alive!
Replay the snapshot but this time as director use an
instruction like:
“1…2…3…CLICK! ...1…2…3…Alive!
And CLICK!...1…2…3…Relax.”
The whole performance will last about ten seconds
but may well give your group a vivid idea of life in a
small Pacific village.
8.Once you have performed your snapshot, invite
your children to reflect on what it was like to play
a character from a village in Kiribati. Ask them
also what it was like to be surrounded by the other
characters. It may also be interesting to ask what they
felt at the moment that the image came to life.
9.If your group is feeling bold and if time allows it would
be wonderful to present your living picture to the rest
of the church. Explain a little of the process, then wow
the congregation with a one second visit to a village
in Kiribati!
Children’s Resources
Week Four Because everyone deserves...
an education
Project in focus: Education in North India
Although there are more children enrolled in primary school throughout the world than ever
before, many children are still not getting an uninterrupted education. Some children work to
supplement the family income, and girls are almost always less likely to go to school. In rural
areas it may be too far or too unsafe for young children to walk to school – if there is one!
UnitingWorld sees the important relationship between increased education and overcoming
poverty. We work with local church partners in a number of countries to make sure all
children are able to access education, paving the way for the rest of their lives. This means
increased literacy rates, more children learning instead of working and girls getting equal
access to opportunities.
In North India the Government has stated that every child has a right to receive a primary
education, but things are not so clear-cut on the ground. Many children are still excluded
because of poverty or because of their ‘caste’. The Uniting Church in Australia’s partner the
Church of North India is determined to change this. A community driven project identifies
and supports school dropouts from poor communities to re-enroll in school, offers children
from disadvantaged families tutoring and nutrition support, and works with the community
to increase their awareness of their rights to health and education.
You can read more here:
Heads Up! India
Population: 1,220,800,359
(July 2013 est.)
India is a wonderfully bewildering country. It has a huge range of
people groups, wildlife, cuisines, religions and histories. In fact, there
are lots of HUGE things about India. It has a huge population (1.2
billion), it is hugely diverse (14 official languages) and it is the biggest
democracy on the planet. India also faces some huge challenges.
Poverty has long been a deep concern in India. With such a
massive population and limited access to clean water, safe toilets
and good nutrition, India is still fighting and in many ways winning,
an epic battle over poverty.
There is no doubt that a good education is one of the best ways to
escape poverty. In North India, UnitingWorld’s partner is working to
support children from poor communities to succeed at school. From assistance in enrolment, to having nutritious
food and providing tutoring, the Church of North India is giving children a fighting chance to flourish at school and
in turn, have more opportunities in life.
Lent Event
Tune In - Work Held Up
Ravinder smiled to herself in the dim room. On the floor around her lamp-lit desk, sleeping
brothers, sisters and cousins sighed and squirmed. It was hot. It was late. Ravinder was so
tired. She still had plenty of homework to do but she didn’t mind at all. Today, during class
the teacher had held up Ravinder’s maths work. It was bliss to see the teacher hold her page
of maths above her head:
“Look at this, all of you! Ravinder has only been in our
class for two months and already she is solving these
difficult sums!” said Mrs Singh. “Well done Ravinder –
your hard work is impressive…and it’s paying off!”
Ravinder started smiling right then in her crowded
classroom and she was still smiling now. If she could
continue to do well at school she would make her
family proud, she would get a good job - she may even
become a teacher herself!
Not long ago Ravinder could only watch the children
from her village head off to school. She could only
wonder what they got up to all day. She could only wish
to join them. Instead of following the others to school,
Ravinder helped her mother with her job cleaning the
house of their landlord. Often Ravinder would pause in
between sweeping to see the school children in their
neat red uniforms walking and chattering on their way
past. It was now two months since Ravinder’s family
had agreed that she too could have a red uniform and
go to school.
She felt completely thrilled to have such an opportunity
and she tried her very hardest to impress Mrs. Singh
and to honour her family’s trust in her.
As Ravinder completed her homework and smiled and
remembered, she was suddenly jerked back to the
present. Her father began coughing. This was no niggly
cough. This was a chest-rattling gurgle that woke her
family and worried Ravinder. She quickly hopped up
from her table and scooped some water out of the
bucket by the door. Carefully, she picked her way back
though the sleepy maze of children to where her father
lay. Between fits of coughing, Ravinder tried to spoon
water into his mouth. His skin was hot to touch and his
breathing came in snatches. Ravinder wished for him
to be well again. She wanted her father to be strong,
to be able to work again, to be able to care for the
family’s goats and their garden.
Ravinder realised that tomorrow, as the oldest child,
she would have to herd the goats to the market instead
of her father. She would have to miss school to find
buyers for their goats. Some days there were things to
do that took her away from lessons: because without
her help, her family could not survive. As Ravinder
looked down at her father and thought about the goats,
she wondered if Mrs Singh would ever hold up her
maths work again.
Children’s Resources
Warm Up - Indian Recipe
There are some delicious ways to learn about the importance of education – making Mango
Lassi is one of them. In this warm up the children will be invited to make and enjoy a North
Indian treat. The catch is, only half the group will have instructions in English. By giving the
other half of the group instructions in Hindi, you will have a great chance to start thinking
about how vital education is!
1. Before your children arrive, set up two identical
stations where they can construct Mango Lassi. It’s
best not to have the ingredients all measured and
ready to go. The more measuring and chopping and
slopping the children can do, the more meaningful the
debrief will be.
2. When your children arrive, divide them into two
groups and tell them they’ll be making Mango Lassi.
Mango Lassi is a delicious and refreshing drink that
is enjoyed all over the world. The recipe was first
developed in North India – where Ravinder comes
3. Give one group the English recipe for ‘Mango Lassi’
[Handout 3] and the other group the Hindi version
[Handout 4]. Assign an adult to work with each
4. The children should be given an opportunity to wash
their hands before beginning. The group with the
English instructions should easily be able to work
through the recipe. The group with the Hindi version
can either try to guess the recipe, or wait until the
other group has finished and ask for assistance.
5. Take time to share and enjoy the Mango Lassi (this
step is very important!).
6. Ask the group who followed the Hindi recipe how
hard they found the task without instructions they
could read. This could lead to a discussion around
the difficulties of illiteracy:
• What if you couldn’t read anything (road signs,
medicine instructions, books)?
• What sorts of things in life would become hard?
• What would you miss out on?
• How would you feel if most of the children your
age could read and you couldn’t?
• Should everyone be allowed to go to school?
• Why do you think some children don’t get a
• What sort of life opportunities will Ravinder have
now she is going to school?
Lent Event
For each station you will need:
A blender
Mango (fresh, tinned or pulp)
Plain yoghurt (or vanilla)
Cardamom powder (not essential but helpful for the exercise)
Rosewater (as for cardamom powder)
Find Out - Delicate Balance
Delicate Balance is designed to help the children in your group understand some of the
time and work pressures that make schooling difficult for many children around the world.
A simple illustration of ‘a day in the life’ using different coloured water may help their
understanding. This is not at all to peddle guilt, but it may give children a new way to think
about how they use time in a day.
What you will need:
Plastic cups
Five different colours of food dye (if you can’t
get five different colours simply combine a
drop of two different colours that will mix.
(Red and yellow make orange,
blue and yellow make green)
A 1.25 litre bottle for each person
1.In pairs, give children five clear plastic cups. In the
bottom of each cup should be two drops of the five
different colours of food dye (e.g. one cup with red,
one with green etc). Give each pair a 1.25 litre bottle
half full of water.
2.Explain that you want to use coloured water to
represent the time they spend on different tasks for
the day. Ask them to pick a very ordinary Thursday
and think about how much time they spend at school,
sleeping, playing, eating and doing jobs. When
everyone has had a good think, tell them that the
water they have represents 24 hours on an ordinary
Thursday. Each coloured dye represents a different
activity. Display your categories clearly so that
everyone can see. For example:
Red = School
Green = Sleep
Yellow = Play
Blue = Eating
Purple = Jobs
3.Give your group a chance to ask a few clarifying
questions and then invite one of the partners in
each group to remove the lid from their bottles and
start pouring. It is worth having some extra materials
ready to use in case a child makes an error or
doesn’t quite understand the task.
4.Once everyone has used their water, invite everyone
to take a look around at the other displays. What
do they notice? Invite everyone to make some
(respectful) observations about trends or exceptions.
5.Next, distribute another set of cups and bottles.
This time ask the other partner to try to represent
Ravinder’s day. It won’t be exact but from the story
try to show how Ravinder’s day is split into the
various activities. Once again ask if there are any
similarities or differences to the first group. Also,
ask if there are similarities or differences between
the groups of ‘Ravinder Cups’ (e.g. one group
thought she got less sleep than jobs whilst another
group thought she had more jobs than school).
To assist your children to make
reasonable predictions about
Ravinder’s day we have included
some details on the next page.
If you disclose just some of these
details (according to how much
assistance your group needs) it
may help inform their decisions.
It may also be possible to disclose
different parts of the day to
different groups so that when
your children share their ideas
a more complete picture is made:
Children’s Resources
Percentage of the day
Ravinder eats only two meals per
day. In the morning she has a cup
of tea before heading to school. She
has a meal in the middle of the day
and also in the evening.
Ravinder does enjoy chatting to her
friends and family but it is normally
while she is at school or doing
jobs. Ravinder loves cricket and
sometimes she gets to bowl against
the other children in her village.
Between late homework and early
chores Ravinder gets some wellearned sleep. Most nights she sleeps
six hours.
Ravinder rises early to fetch water,
light the cooking fire and tend the
garden. She helps her mother with
cleaning and cooking and her father
with the goats. Sometimes she cares
for her younger family members and
sometimes she goes with her mother
to help with her paid cleaning job.
School starts early (8am) with some
cleaning duties and an assembly.
Ravinder finishes school at 3.30pm.
6.Now to begin to appreciate Ravinder’s difficult
choices, read the following scenarios and ask children
to adjust their water to show what changed.
For example, groups may have to decide whether to
take some water out of sleep to put into jobs or out of
play to put into school. This is likely to throw the colour
coding out the window but that is part of the point!
What if on this
particular Thursday:
• Ravinder’s mother insists she help her with
house cleaning because the landlord is
demanding more work than her mother can do?
• Ravinder is selected to tutor younger children
after school? Instead of heading home at 3.30pm
with the other children she is to stay at school to
provide extra lessons for the infants until 5pm.
• Ravinder’s family’s goats had to be taken to
the market at midday, right in the middle of the
school day, and her father had fallen ill? If there
is no money from the goats, there will be no
money for food that month.
Lent Event
7.Talk about the sorts of choices Ravinder would have
to make and how they may affect her life.
8.This would be a great time to talk about the Gospel
reading from today. In John 9:1-41 a blind man is
healed. Jesus really sets the man free. The healed
man says:
“The man called Jesus made some mud, rubbed it on
my eyes, and told me to go to Siloam and wash my
face. So I went, and as soon as I washed, I could see.”
This is dramatic and will change the man’s life forever.
You could ask your group:
In what ways will the healed man’s life be changed?
Similarly, how will Ravinder’s life likely to be different
for having the chance to go to school?
The UnitingWorld partner in North India supports
children to go to school in a number of ways. What
sort of similarity is there between their work and the
miraculous work of Jesus?
Act Out - Flat friend goes to school
Here are two practical suggestions for acting on the issues explored in today’s session:
1.Give children a card and allow them access to
textas that match the cups used in today’s session.
On one side of the card invite the children to write
something they would like to change about the way
they use time. For example, they could write about
wanting to get their daily jobs (purple texta) completed
more quickly to leave time for other things. On the
other side of the card they could write a prayer
for Ravinder (and children like her) using the same
colour code.
For example, they could write that they pray
Ravinder gets more sleep (green texta).
2. One very direct action would be to have your church
help to fund the schooling of a child in North India.
In North India it costs $24 to provide a child with a
uniform and books, note-books and pens. And $4 a
month provides a child with regular nutritional support.
It is important to point out to your congregation that
the UnitingWorld project in North India supports
the rights of education through advocacy, providing
access to extra tuition and
enrolment assistance. That
said, providing support
for the ‘raw materials’ of
schooling does really help.
To make a tangible link, trace around one of the children
in your group and cut out the body shape. Display the
‘flat friend’ in your church and invite the congregation to
help raise money to support his or her education.
As the money is raised have the children colour in the
‘flat friend’ like a thermometer. When you have raised
the amount your children are happy with, send the
money and your ‘flat friend’ to:
Uniting World
PO Box A2266
Sydney South NSW 1235
Children’s Resources
Week FIVE Because everyone deserves...
to have opportunities
Project in focus: Economic and social empowerment in Maluku,
Like people in Australia, people living in developing countries have many different skills and
abilities. But often factors outside their control mean they don’t have the same opportunities
to earn an income, look after their families and plan for the future.
Poverty is heightened when people are not able to participate in the decisions that affect
their lives. People are excluded because of where they live, their religion, their gender or
their culture. All these factors reduce their access to education, employment opportunities
and healthcare.
UnitingWorld works with our partners to make sure people participate in the decisions that
affect their lives and can access the resources they need to take part in all aspects of life.
In Maluku, Indonesia, where conflict has deeply impacted community life, UnitingWorld is
working with our partner church, carrying out workshops in towns that focus on training
women in business and leadership skills. As women from a range of religious and cultural
backgrounds meet in small groups, they learn business skills and discover the role they have
to play in community leadership and as cultivators of peace.
You can read more here:
Heads Up! Indonesia
Population: 251,160,124
(July 2013 estimate)
Indonesia is one of Australia’s closest neighbours and has the
fourth largest population in the world. Indonesia is made up of
thousands of islands (17,508 to be exact) that are grouped into
provinces. One of these provinces is Maluku. The Maluku Islands
were once known worldwide as the Spice Islands and are famous
for being the native home of prized spices such as nutmeg, mace
and cloves. In fact, these three spices originated in Maluku and
are now important flavours in many delicious global recipes. More
recently, Maluku has become known globally, not for beautiful
spices, but for ugly conflicts. Between 1999 and 2003 deadly
clashes occurred between Muslims and Christians.
Peace has now returned to Maluku but keeping peace is hard work
and repairing damage takes a long time. One proven technique
to build peace is to work together for a common good. UnitingWorld, through its partner in Maluku, is helping to
train women from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds to learn business and leadership skills. The skills
they learn from these workshops and the wisdom they learn from each other are strengthening the fragile peace
of Maluku.
Lent Event
Tune In - Smoke
Izak slung his bag over his shoulder and plodded out of the school compound to the corner
where Florence, his little sister, was waiting for him. Florence was hopping from foot to foot
and happy to see him. It was now late in the afternoon and ahead of him, Izak saw a great
higgledy piggledy line of children walking down the main track back to their homes. Izak was
in no real hurry – it was hot, school was over and he knew there were many jobs waiting for
him at home. Together, Izak and Florence ambled down the dusty path towards their home.
Izak had heard many stories from the terrible time when
there were riots in Ambon – when aunties and uncles
had been killed and when cousins and friends, even his
own mother, had been badly hurt. He was too young to
remember the terrible riots himself but the signs of that
trouble, the scars, were all around. Right now, as they
walked past a long row of burnt-out houses, Izak quietly
shuddered, remembering the story he was told about
the deliberate fires here. Once, these places had been
people’s homes. Now they were sad, blackened shells.
Izak started walking just a little quicker.
Florence pointed to a group of students in the distance.
It wasn’t possible to hear what they were saying but
even from here, Florence could see them suddenly
waving their arms and talking excitedly. The flurry of
excitement then moved its way down the line towards
Izak and Florence. An important story was being told
and retold. Something serious must be happening, Izak
thought. When he looked up, above the heads of the
students, he saw a single column of black smoke rising
from his village.
Izak didn’t hesitate. He grasped Florence’s hand
and started jogging for home. As they ran, he caught
snatches of the story. There had been shouting.
Someone had heard screaming. There had been a
loud bang. Izak felt his chest tighten. He looked at
Florence. She was running with her face upturned,
trying to read his face for signs of trouble. Izak said
nothing but sped up.
With gravel crunching under their feet, Izak and
Florence reached the edge of their village. They could
both smell smoke and sense the panic in the air. As
Izak sprinted around the last corner into his street he
sucked in a quick breath and slapped his hand over his
mouth. Smoke was billowing out of his family home!
Frozen to the spot, Izak’s mind flicked through all the
terrible explanations for a fire in his own house. As he
looked more intently he could see a group of people
on the street outside his home. Tightening his grip
on Florence’s hand he started running again. Izak
recognized some of the people on the street.
He saw his own mother and her friends from her
women’s group. Izak knew that the women’s group
wasn’t respected by everyone in the village. Not
everyone was happy to see Muslims and Christians
working so closely together. The women were
coughing, pointing and doubling over…and laughing!
Laughing? Izak and Florence ran right up to their
mother and held her shaking hands. It took some time
to untangle the story.
With tears running down her face, Izak’s mother told
how one of the mothers had brought a brand new
kerosene stove to use for frying bananas at the market.
She had wanted to demonstrate how it worked but the
oil had become too hot. The new stove worked too
well, and had caught on fire. Izak’s mother had tried
to put the fire out by throwing a bowl of water at the
flames. Instead of putting the fire out, the water turned
the burning oil into a fireball that had singed her hair
and sent smoke spewing through the whole house.
Fumbling in the smoke, one of the women had turned
the stove off and everyone burst out of the house
laughing as hard as they were coughing.
This fire had not turned their house into a shell. This
fire had hurt no one and nothing. This fire was a real
accident, even a funny one. Izak felt a wave of relief
wash over him. He was not expecting a peaceful
explosion but he was very grateful for it. He shuffled
his feet and laughed with Florence and the ladies in
the street.
Children’s Resources
Warm Up - The delicious aroma of peace
In Proverbs 27:9 it says: “Perfume and fragrant oils make you feel happier, but trouble
shatters your peace of mind”. This ancient truth can be explored in our homes and around
the world. Today’s activity seeks to engage your group’s minds and senses by showcasing the
spices that have made Maluku famous. Using some simple ingredients each member of your
group can create their own ‘Spice Island Air Freshener’ Jar.
You will need:
Jars (500ml if you can find them)
Spices – Cinnamon Quills, Cloves, Nutmeg,
Star Anise
Cutting Boards
4. See the box below for simple steps to create
a Spice Island Air Freshener Jar.
5. As you are making the jars be sure to take time with
each ingredient and allow children to experience its
distinctive smell and feel.
6. You may like to design and make labels for
your jars that feature the text from Proverbs 27:9.
Alternatively, you could use the labels from
Handout 5.
Labels [Handout 5]
1. It would be great to make a Spice Island Air
Freshener in advance so you can have it simmering
during this session (if you have the facility for
‘simmering’). See the box to the right for directions.
2. Start by telling your children that the Maluku Islands
have been famous for hundreds of years for the
spices that grow there. Long ago, sailors would
risk their lives and travel right around the world to
buy these spices. More recently there have been
terrible clashes on the islands between Christians
and Muslims. There has been peace for the last ten
years and it is worth celebrating the wonderful spicy
aromas that originate in Maluku as well as the
aroma of peace.
3. Give each child a jar and then follow the directions
below to create an air freshener jar. If the children
prepare the jars with you, they can take them home
to use. The jars can be safely stored in the fridge for
up to two weeks and can be used a couple of times.
Lent Event
(Ingredients listed per jar. Multiply for the
quantity you will need)
• 1 orange
• 2 cinnamon quills
(or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
• 2 tsp whole cloves
• 1 whole nutmeg
(or 1 tbsp ground nutmeg)
• 1 star anise (optional)
• Water to cover
• Chop orange into thick chunks
• Place all ingredients into jar
• Fill remaining space in jar with water
• Add a lid to the jar
Find Out - Down to Business
The UnitingWorld project in Maluku assists women to start and grow small businesses.
Small groups of women gather to share resources, skills and stories. These meetings
strengthen their businesses as well as the community. This activity seeks to emulate
a little of the entrepreneurial spark that exists in these meetings.
You will need…
Handout 6
Pencils and/or textas
Whiteboard or butcher’s paper
Camera (optional)
1. Tell your children what a great job they did creating
their spice jars.
2. Ask your children to imagine what it would be like
to turn their spice jars into a business – making and
selling different delicious fragrances. In fact, you
could go a step further and ask them to imagine what
it would be like if they had to make a business from
their spice jars; because it was the only source of
income their family had.
To help develop a ‘business plan’ for your spice jars
divide into two groups. Each group can explore a
different part of starting a business:
• Makers: This group will think of all the equipment
and supplies needed to start a business. They will try
to make lists for ingredients, equipment and spaces
to work.
This would be an appropriate point to reflect a little
on today’s Gospel reading with your group. In
John 4: 5-42 Jesus raises his friend Lazarus from
the dead. When Jesus knew Lazarus had died
he said: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep,
but I will go and wake him up” (John 11:11). This
shows a little of Jesus’ amazing view of life. He
saw that seemingly impossible situations could be
transformed. You could ask:
• Marketers: This group will think of who to sell your
product to and how. They will decide what the product
should look like and how it should be advertised.
3. Give each group a copy of Handout 6 and a handful
of textas. Tell each group that they can have an
imaginary budget of $50 for each group to help start
the business. Handout 6 gives some starting points
for thinking up business ideas. Give each group some
space and time to develop their ideas.
4. Bring the group back together and combine the
information they have dreamt up to create an
advertisement for their brand new product. If you
have time you could mock up an advert on a
whiteboard or butcher’s paper (thank heavens for
butchers and their paper!). If you have even more
time you could try to create and film an advert for
TV or the internet.
5. As a way of debriefing this session you could ask:
• What was hard about trying to turn your craft into
a business?
• What did you enjoy about it?
• What is risky about trying to earn all of your money
from a new business?
•Why do you think Jesus was able to see death as only
•How do you think people in Maluku have overcome the
conflict of their past?
•It what ways is ‘life’ triumphing over ‘death’ in Maluku?
Children’s Resources
Week six Because everyone deserves...
their voice to be heard
Project in focus: Advocacy and peacebuilding in Papua New Guinea
UnitingWorld values the voices of all people in the development process, regardless of their
social status, gender or age. We recognise the importance of participation and consultation in
making sure the communities we work with have a say about what they need and what will
benefit them in the future. One area where this is particularly important is where community
development projects work alongside large scale resource development projects like mining.
Some examples of large-scale resource development initiatives are found in our nearest
neighbor, Papua New Guinea. To make sure everyone benefits from projects like these and to
reduce possible tension between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ it is important that dialogue between
local communities, resource developers and government takes place. UnitingWorld is working
in partnership with the United Church in Papua New Guinea to ensure community awareness
raising takes place, a wide range of perspectives are heard and local communities benefit in a
sustainable way, even beyond the lifespan of the project.
Heads Up! - Papua New Guinea
Population: 6,431,902
(July 2013 estimate.)
Papua New Guinea is another of Australia’s closest neighbours and
what a fascinating neighbour it is! With over 840 different languages,
Papua New Guinea remains one of the least explored areas on the
planet. Sometimes new plant and animal species are discovered
in Papua New Guinea’s remote regions and it’s likely that there are
many more that remain undiscovered. Papua New Guinea’s people
hail from a kaleidoscope of amazing cultures and many of them
maintain lifestyles that are as ancient as they are intriguing.
Our neighbours also have some real problems to grapple with.
Health for pregnant mothers, access to safe water, reducing
violence and tackling HIV/AIDS are some difficult challenges
for Papua New Guinea to overcome.
UnitingWorld is working to support communities in Papua New
Guinea who are affected by the arrival of developers. Large-scale resource development, like mines, can
bring much needed opportunities to communities in Papua New Guinea but they can also bring conflict and
trouble. UnitingWorld, through its partner in Papua New Guinea, is working to improve communication between
community members, developers and the Papua New Guinea government.
Lent Event
Tune In Taking Turns
Warm Up Cat and Mouse
Samson ran along the riverbank holding the
vine tightly. He put on a burst of speed until
he felt the vine being pulled from his arms
as it became tense. He tucked up his legs
and flew out, high over the surface of the
river before letting go of the vine. For a short
moment he was flying up, up before curling
into a tight ball and plunging into the river
with a satisfying splash. When he surfaced
he saw the ten impressed faces of the boys
from his village. It felt good to fly off the vine
but it also felt good to make his friends smile.
This simple tag game will help to show
that when there is conflict no one can
rest. It will also get everyone moving
and interacting.
There was one thing missing…in fact, there were about
six things missing. Samson used to play with mates
from both of the twin villages of Pimaga and Orokana.
Now it was only the boys from his own village, Pimaga
that came to play here with him. Samson really missed
the other boys and he didn’t quite understand why the
boys from Orokana were only allowed down here when
the Pimaga boys had gone home. He did understand
that it had something to do with ‘The Rig’.
3.The ‘mouse’ may increase his/her chances of evading
the ‘cat’ by linking arms with one of the pairs dotted
around the room. As soon as the mouse links arms
with one person in the new pair, the other child in the
pair becomes the new ‘mouse’ and scampers off.
‘The Rig’, a tall, tall machine that sucked gas from under
the ground, was built about a year ago. At first, when
people from his village got more money, more jobs and
a new health clinic, Samson thought ‘The Rig’ was a
wonderful thing. Soon, however, he also saw the trouble
it was bringing. People from other villages felt left out,
workers fought over jobs, extra people bought up all the
food at the shops and the queues at the local health
clinic were getting much longer.
Then one night, Samson’s own father tried to stop
a fight between the workers of Pimaga and the
unemployed men from Orokana. Samson’s dad was
hit and, although his broken leg would eventually mend,
Samson wondered if the rift between Pimaga and
Orokana would ever heal in the same way. Now, as
he prepared for another jump with the vine, his father
was lying uncomfortably in the village clinic. Samson
wondered if Pimaga would have needed a new clinic if
there weren’t so many injured men to fill it.
It was now Samson’s next turn on the vine. After this
splash, which was even bigger than the first, Samson
stood dripping on the bank and waved to his admiring
friends. Then he turned a full circle, still waving to the
forest. Even though his friends from Orokana were
not with him, Samson knew they’d be watching from
a distance somewhere amongst the trees. One day,
he hoped, they’d come back and play closely enough
for him to be able to splash their smiling faces!
1.Ask children to form pairs and to stand with their
partner in a free space. Each pair should link arms.
2.Choose one of the pairs and ask one partner to
be the ‘cat’ and the other to be the ‘mouse’. When
the game starts the ‘cat’ should chase the ‘mouse’,
trying to tag him/her. If the ‘cat’ manages to catch the
‘mouse’ their roles reverse and the chase continues.
All the other linked pairs should stand still and watch
the ‘cat’ and ‘mouse’.
4.The game can continue like this for some time or
you may like to add this twist…If the ‘mouse’ links
arms the opposite partner becomes a ‘dog’ and
chases the ‘cat’.
5.When everyone has had a healthy chase you
could ask:
• Was the mouse ever able to rest
in the game? Was the cat able to
rest? Why?
• What would happen to the mouse
if he/she rested?
• Did the pairs also have to stay
alert and ready for action?
• This was only a game but what
if there was always a conflict
in our community. In what way
would this be like our ‘Cat and
Mouse’ game?
Children’s Resources
Find Out - Tiny Village
Any major change in a community can bring conflict. This activity simulates some of the
tensions and also some of the benefits that can arrive with major development. With your
children, you will build two villages and then imagine what might happen when a major
project arrives and sets up right beside one of them.
What you will need:
As many LEGO toys as you can lay your
hands on!
Copies of Handout 7
1.Preparation: The idea of this session is to build two
villages and then simulate some major changes.
A little preparation may help:
i)The construction phase could take a long time so
you could help move things along by making some
buildings in advance (or even better, allow some
children to build them).
ii)The arrival of the drilling rig and the installation
of a new school are two significant moments in
the simulation. If you were to build (and then hide)
a largish tower and a box-shaped building - that
should do the trick.
iii) It would be great if every child had a Lego figure
to use in the simulation. If you cannot find enough
figures perhaps the children could be invited to
bring one with them.
2.Divide your group into two smaller groups. Tell both
groups that they are going to make a village for each
group (Village A and Village B). You could brainstorm
all the buildings they might need to construct
(homes, school, health clinic, shops) and even name
your villages. Tell your group that the villages you are
building are set in a remote location, far from roads
and electricity. This should influence the structures
they include.
3.Allow your children to spend some time building.
If space allows, it would be ideal to have the two
villages about three metres apart.
4.Once construction is underway invite your children
to place their Lego figure somewhere in the village.
Tell them that their figure is a member of their village.
Lent Event
Ask them to think about who their figure is and what
their role might be in the village.
5.Use Handout 7 to capture what each child’s figure
is thinking and feeling at this point. Feelings can be
expressed on the face and thoughts can be written
or drawn in the thought bubbles. Invite the children
to record their ideas and feelings on the handout
and then resume building.
6.Whilst the building is still happening, place the
drilling rig between the two villages but much
closer to Village A. Read the following:
“Valuable gas has been found beneath the
ground between the two villages. Ever since
Xcav8 (a mining company) made the discovery
of this gas, there have been many people with
white skin, who speak a different language,
busily clearing ground and building the rig you
now see. The white people have brought many
changes to village life – especially in Village
A. Xcav8 has now supplied Village A with
electricity, a new school and has employed
many of the villagers.”
[Place the new school in Village A. Pick a few
of the villagers from Village A and re-assign
them to the drilling rig].
7.Invite children to use Handout 7 to capture the
thoughts and feelings of their figure at this point in
the story.
8.Allow building to continue and try to observe any
changes that may occur now that Village A is
operating in a new situation.
9.After a short time constructing, interrupt the builders
with a final message:
The drilling rig has definitely brought some great
benefits to Village A but it has also brought some
trouble. People in Village B feel left out of these
benefits and things are now tense between the
villages. More than that, Village A now have many
people flocking to live in their village so that they
can work on Xcav8’s rig. More people would be ok,
but it has happened so suddenly that the school
and clinic are now overcrowded, drinking water is
getting scarce and sickness is far more common
and more serious.
10.For a final time, invite the children to capture the
thoughts and feelings of their figure.
11.Tell the children that the Tiny Village story has
now finished and gather them together as one
group. Debrief the story with the children by
sharing the information on Handout 7. Children
who built Village A might partner up with someone
from Village B.
12. To help the reflection you could ask:
• What were some benefits that the rig brought to
Village A? What were some of the problems?
• What did the rig do to the relationship between
Village A and Village B?
You could ask your group:
•What sort of injuries does Isaiah
predict that Jesus will suffer?
Were his predictions right?
•Why do you think Jesus was
treated so poorly?
•What was Jesus’ attitude to the
terrible treatment he received?
•How did Jesus say we should treat
people who hate us? How hard is it
to do what he said?
•How should we pray for innocent
people around the world who get
caught up in conflict?
• Overall do you think the arrival of the rig was a
good thing for the villages? Why or why not?
• What things would people need to be careful
to do to keep a good relationship between the
• Xcav8 brought electricity, employment and
a school. Do you think they needed to bring
anything else to the villages?
To help your children think about the way innocent
people can get caught up in conflicts that can flare
up in communities, it may help to think about the
Old Testament reading for today.
In looking ahead to Jesus’ life Isaiah wrote
(from the perspective of Jesus):
“I bared my back to those who beat me. I did
not stop them when they insulted me, when
they pulled out the hairs of my beard and spit
in my face.But their insults cannot hurt me
because the Sovereign LORD gives me help. I
brace myself to endure them. I know that I will
not be disgraced, for God is near, and he will
prove me innocent.” (Isaiah 50:6-8)
Kids to be Peacemakers
It’s not always easy to be a peacemaker. Ask
your children if they would be willing to act as
peacemakers in their own lives – and invite them
to discuss what sort of skills it would take to be
a peacemaker. Perhaps suggest they look at
good listening skills, giving both sides a chance to
talk, and encouraging people to consider what
compromises may be possible. You could also
discuss whether this process becomes more
difficult when a lot of people are involved, and
how discussions can be set up so all people get
a chance to have their say.
If time is tight, encourage the children to go home
and talk to their parents about how they could
promote peace within their own families and
friendship groups.
Children’s Resources
Hando 1
Distraction Cards
This family doesn’t
have enough money for
day-to-day needs
Take a pole away
This family didn’t have
access to education
Take the instructions away
The water this family
drank often made them sick
Tie one of the tent pitcher’s
shoes together
This family lives in an area
that is prone to floods
Flap the tent when they try
to secure it
Not everyone treats
this family very kindly
Say unhelpful things like:
“I don’t think that looks
“Are you sure you know what
you’re doing?”
Sometimes this family
gets picked on by their
Tell them to move to a
different spot to pitch
Hando 2
Healthy Helmet Heads
Clean Water
Safe Toilets
Clean Hands
Good Food
Trained Midwife
Hando 4
Mango Lassi
Serves: 2-3
opped mango
• 2 cups of fresh ch
pieces or tinned ch
whole mango
mangoes or even a
ick yoghurt
• 2 cups chilled th
• ½ tsp cardamom
• 1 tsp rose water
• Sugar as require
es and chop them
1. Peel the mango
• 2 tbsp cream
mixer, puree
2. In a blender or
ith sugar.
the mangoes w
chilled yoghurt,
3. Now add the
om powder and
remove cardam
rose water.
r or mixer for 1
4. Run the blende
d the
urt is smooth an
or until the yogh
well with the yo
d serve.
i into glasses an
5. Po
slightly thin cons
water while
add some milk or
n also add ice
blending. You ca
cubes while blen
Hando 4
Handout 6 – Mango Lassi Recipe (Hindi version)
आम की लस्सी फलों का राजा आम जिसमें अनेकों गुण हैं। आम का सबसे बड़ा गुण तो यही है कि यह बहुत
ही स्वादिष्ट और आकर्षक फल है। दूसरी बात ये कि इसमें विटामिन सी प्रचुर मात्रा में
होता है जिससे हमारा शरीर स्वस्थ रहता है। आम में पोटैशियम और बीटा कैरोटीन भी
पाया जाता है। आम के गूदे में जो रेशा होता है वह न केवल हाज़मे के लिए लाभकारी है
बल्कि ये कोलेस्ट्रॉल भी घटाता है और कैंसर की बीमारी भी रोकता है। इस समय दुनियां
में आम की सैकड़ों प्रजातियां हैं। जब आम में इतने सारे गुण हों तो कौन नहीं इसे खाना
चाहेगा। आइए हम आपको बताते हैं आम की लस्सी बनाने का तरीका।
कितने लोगों के लिए: 4
प्रयुक्त की जाने वाली सामग्री
1 आम, 1 टे.स्पून चीनी, 1 कप दही, 2-3 केसर, एक चुटकी हरी इलायची पाउडर
बनाने की विधि
आम का गूदा निकालकर उसे मिक्सी में अच्छी तरह पीस लें। इसे एक बाउल में रख लें।
अब उसी मिक्सी में दही, चीनी और वर्फ के टुकड़े डाल कर उसे अच्छी तरह पीस लें। अब
इसमें पीसे हुए आम को डालकर फिर से सबसे कम स्पीड पर आधे मिनट के लिए मिक्सी
चला लें। अब इसमें एक चुटकी इलायची पाउडर डाल कर अच्छी तरह मिला लें। इसे केसर
से सजा कर ठंडा ही सर्व करें।
Spice Islands
Air Freshener Jar Labels
Hando 5
Spice Islands Air Freshener
“Perfume and fragrant oils make you feel happier,
but trouble shatters your peace of mind” Proverbs 27:9
Store this jar in the fridge until needed. To use - Place the
contents of the jar in a saucepan and simmer on the stovetop to
create an incredible aroma in your home. Top up with water as
evaporation occurs. The concoction may be re-used 2-3 times.
Spice Islands Air Freshener
“Perfume and fragrant oils make you feel happier,
but trouble shatters your peace of mind” Proverbs 27:9
Store this jar in the fridge until needed. To use - Place the
contents of the jar in a saucepan and simmer on the stovetop to
create an incredible aroma in your home. Top up with water as
evaporation occurs. The concoction may be re-used 2-3 times.
Hando 5
Down To Business
Starting Points…
• What equipment will you need?
• What ingredients will you need?
How many supplies will you need to start out?
• Where will you make the jars?
• How many people will you need to employ?
• Where can you get your equipment and ingredients?
• What different fragrances could you make?
Starting Points…
• How much will you charge for your jars?
• What sort of people will you try to sell them to?
• What should you call your product?
• What should the label look like?
• How will you advertise your product?
• What different fragrances could you make?
Tiny Villagers
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Han ek 6
Population and other statistics from:
Mango Lassi Recipe based on
Some Warm Up games inspired by:
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