Here’s a story about a child who fled conflict and now lives in a temporary shelter. It provides an opportunity for children to reflect on conflict and migration, and relate to others around the world who find themselves in these circumstances.
The story is below. If you are interested in pictures of Angeline to use with the story-telling, you can download them above.
This is Angeline. Angeline is a ten-year-old girl who lives in a small tent with her family in Jordan. She cannot go to school and is often hungry. There is no plumbing for water or heating to help her stay warm. Angeline’s life wasn’t always like this. She grew up living very much like you do! In a home with her family, in a peaceful city where she went to school and played with other children.
But one day everything changed for Angeline. A number of people in her home country, Syria, were not getting enough to eat. Many became unhappy with the Syrian Government and started complaining about it. The Syrian Government did not like this, and responded in violence, killing some of the people. Then many people started arguing and fighting.
Things became so bad in Angeline’s country that every day bombs would fall on her city. Her school was destroyed and some of her friends and family were killed. Angeline’s family was afraid that they were not safe in their home anymore so they sold their belongings and fled to the neighbouring country, Jordan.
They found a camp where many other refugees like Angeline and her family were living in tents. There were thousands of people in this camp who had fled Syria looking for somewhere safe to live. Though Angeline and her family were safer at the refugee camp, her parents felt that it was too crowded and was an unhealthy place for Angeline and her brothers and sisters to grow up.
Once again Angeline’s family packed up their few belongings and left. They found a place where nobody else was living, outside of a big city, and set up their tent there. They laid out some mats to sleep on and someone gave them a TV to watch since Angeline and her family cannot go to school, and have no friends living nearby to play with. Though it is overcrowded and uncomfortable, Angeline and her family receive food each month, provided by Canadian Foodgrains Bank and its member, World Renew. This helps ensure that Angeline and her family have enough to eat. Her parents can spend their money on other needs, such as a heater for their tents to keep them warm through the winter.
Angeline is grateful for the people that are helping her family. She hopes that the fighting will stop soon so that she may go home and return to the way her life used to be, in a peaceful city, going to school and playing with her friends.
Show the three photos of Angeline to the children (download above). Ask the following “wondering” questions, leaving space between each in case the children want to comment.
(1) I wonder how it would feel if bombs were falling on your city and everybody was fighting…
(2) I wonder what it would be like having to leave your home, your friends, and all of your things behind…
(3) I wonder how it would feel to live in a tent with your entire family, like Angeline and many other refugees do, where there is no running water and no heater to keep you warm…
(4) I wonder what we can do to help people like Angeline…
Prayer God of love, we give you thanks for our homes, our families and friends, and all the things that make our lives good. We pray for all those people who have lost their homes, who have lost their families and friends from wars and violence. We pray for a world in which everyone has a place to call home, family and friends to be with, and enough food to share each day. Amen.