The Spiritual Development in Schools together with Prayer Spaces team members and other volunteers once again collaborated with Foundation for Educational Services (FES) and offered the Prayer Spaces experience in person for children attending Skolasajf.
This year’s main theme of Skolasajf 2022 was ‘Earth Heroes, Unite’. This slogan drew on the need to be united in the face of adversary so that together we will reap the fruit of our work and commitment where the collective of everyone will help to build a better and stronger society.
Prayer Spaces activities were set up in two different venues and weeks. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of August prayer spaces were set up in the beautiful countryside at Lunzjata Valley in Kerċem, Gozo and throughout the following week from the 8th till the 12th of August, at the Portico of the Madonna tal-Providenza Chapel in Siġġiewi.
10 Prayer Spaces
The SDS team created ten prayer spaces activities related to the main theme of Skolasajf ‘Earth Heroes, Unite’.
In the Hero Badge prayer space, the children were thrilled to create their own badges. They wrote their names on round templates and completed the sentence ‘I am a hero when …’. As they pinned it on their T-shirt, they asked God to help them do good things with great love for others.
In the Seeds of Friendship prayer space, the children held a seed in their hands and saw how small it is. They put compost in the pot and planted the seed. They were to water it and take care of it. In doing so they are reminding themselves to take care of creation thus their friendship with God who is Lord of all creation.
In the Jigsaw Prayers prayer space, they took two pieces of the jigsaw and drew themselves and another person who fought with them. As they fitted the 2 pieces together, they asked God to help everyone sort things out peacefully.
On the Happy Earth – Sad Earth prayer space, the children stuck different pictures showing ways of how we can either make Earth a happy or a sad place. The children also wrote a thought or a sorry prayer to God for when they did something damaging to our planet Earth.
On the Shoal of Fish prayer space, the children wrote their names on fish templates and hung them together as a group. They prayed for unity and peace in their classroom, at school and at home.
In the Hope Blossoms prayer space, the children wrote their hopes on squared papers. They folded the four corners of the square to connect at the centre and placed it in a container filled with water. The children smiled upon seeing their written hopes unfold on the surface of the water. The younger children blew bubbles of wishes as they mentioned their wishes.
Children proceeded to the Pray for the World prayer space. They took a battery tea light candle and as they switched it, they prayed for relatives, friends living abroad, and countries in the world. They placed the candle onto the map, of the country they offered the prayer for.
In the Find My Saint prayer space, the children picked their saint by finding the picture of the one whose name starts with the same letter as their name. They thought of how they can live like a saint at home, at school and everywhere.
In the Appreciating Nature prayer space, the children wrote a thank you prayer to God for something they like in nature. They stuck the circles to form a caterpillar.
In the Be Still prayer space, the children entered the tent, sat down and closed their eyes for a while. They appreciated the moment of stillness in this quiet space.
Participating Skolasajf Centres
The centres in Malta which participated in the prayer spaces were Qormi San Bastjan, Rabat, Siġġiewi, Luqa, Żebbuġ, Mqabba, Żurrieq, Dingli, Ħamrun SĠP (ĠP) and Mosta.
In Gozo, the participating centres were from Xagħra (Żebbuġ and Għarb), Qala (Nadur), Sannat, Victoria (Kerċem and San Lawrenz) and Xewkija.
The SDS team are grateful to Ms Therese Ellul, Manager (PDDI) and Mr Justin Balzan, Programme Coordinator – Programmes (PDDI) at FES for their collaboration and coordination. A word of thanks goes to all centre coordinators, play workers and educators who accompanied all groups of children throughout the prayer space experience and together with us provided the children with the opportunity to grow together. May we continue to help children and God meet.