Salematu's Secret Box

Salematu's Secret Box

An Assembly Story for Primary Schools

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Salematu’s first day at school in Muwembe (Africa) is an incredibly special one. It is her tenth birthday and she has received sponsorship from a kind English family that enables her attend school when she never could before. It follows that Salematu’s birthday and first day at school outshine every conceivable expectation she could have had. Two miles in to her first six-mile walk to school she befriends a girl called Matalebu who goes to school with her. When the pair arrives at school Salematu is greeted with such kindness, rendering her shocked and overjoyed. Her new teacher Mr N’dabe has directed her school mates to ensure her day is extra special in any small way they can- whether this be sharing stationary or food, allowing her first priority on the see-saw, giving her gifts, or doing her hair… above all Mr N’dabe has given the class the job of making Salematu feel welcome. Salematu feels on top of the world when she is told that parcel has come all the way from England via ‘The Church Plan’ for her. She takes it home to find a birthday card, beads, and string from her sponsor and is immediately excited by the thoughts of all the things she could make for the people she loves from this, and all the wonderful things she now has to tell her father. Having been treated so kindly- she is moved to kindness and generosity herself. Salematu’s attitude in this story for primary school assemblies is inspiring for other children. Her gratefulness for what she’s got, despite tough circumstance, encourages children to be happy with their lot- and to find more joy in the little things, in the kindness of others. It is so easy nowadays for adults and children alike to want for more- this story reminds them to take the time to appreciate their life as it is, and to be more satisfied. If children start to be happier with what they have then this increases the chance of a domino effect of happiness and kindness- making the school environment and extremely positive place and ensuring all present have a high quality of life. The position of ‘The Church Plan’ in this story informs listeners of some of the altruistic, good things that faith communities can do for the wider world- perhaps piquing their interests. It may come as a surprise to primary school children, that, in many parts of the world attending education is privilege as opposed to a right. Learning how different school life is for someone from a different culture may help listeners to better acknowledge and appreciate the opportunities that their school gives them.

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