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Goma

To acknowledge the devastation caused by the volcanic eruption. To express sympathy and support and pray for the people of Goma.

by Gordon Lamont

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To acknowledge the devastation caused by the volcanic eruption. To express sympathy and support and pray for the people of Goma.

Preparation and materials

  • Like all rapid response assemblies, this responds to a changing and emerging news story, and some elements may be overtaken by events.

Assembly

  1. Introduce the facts of the eruption: Mount Nyiragongo has erupted; the volcano is not far (about 10 kms) from the town of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You could describe this as being towards the middle of Africa, or show it on a map.

    Explain that the volcano last erupted in 1977 - 25 years ago. Then, nearly 2,000 were killed. This time, so far, there are many fewer reports of deaths or serious injury. You might like to add the latest details from news reports or even read out some.

    The lava flow destroyed 14 villages on its way to the town of Goma. The lava has cut the town in two and caused many fires. The roads are clogged as people try to escape.

  2. Ask the children to think about what it must be like for those people: Their homes and most of their possessions have gone. They may be travelling with young children who don't understand why this is happening. They must be frightened that there will be another terrifying eruption. They will find it hard to think about a better future, since they have no homes left and their whole town has been destroyed.

  3. Have a short period of silence in which you encourage children to think about the situation and say a silent prayer if they wish.

  4. Finish with the Time for reflection.

Time for reflection

We think of the people of Goma and the nearby villages -
running, frightened,
with no home to go to and not knowing what the future will bring.
We are thankful that this time the volcano has not killed 2,000 people, as it did in 1977.
We pray for them,
we ask God to care for them
and we thank God for all those who are helping them.

Amen.

Publication date: 2002   (Vol.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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