In times of pandemic it is necessary to reinvent oneself. That is what the project 'Journey to Narnia' of the Teaching Delegation of the Diocese of Getafe has done in this edition of the year 2021, taking advantage of what is apparently a difficulty to turn it into an opportunity.
Journey to Narnia is a project led by Religion teachers based on the classic children's book 'Chronicles of Narnia' by the British writer C.S. Lewis. A work with a symbolic Christian background that allows the youngest children to learn about the main teachings of Christianity through fantasy.
In its pages we can find stories that refer us to creation in 'The Magician's Nephew', redemption in 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' or scatology in 'The Last Battle'.
Each year, students gather in an emblematic, magical place to recreate the Narnian world for a day.
It is not surprising, therefore, that this group of teachers has chosen the reading of these books as a propitious framework to help children understand and become interested in Christianity. And they have done it in the format of a great event, because more than one hundred and twenty schools and institutes participate in this educational experience. More than six thousand students gather each year in an emblematic, magical place to recreate, for a day, this wonderful world. Games, workshops, moments of prayer, concerts and many other activities fill a day that takes place in the incomparable setting of the gardens and palaces of the royal sites of Aranjuez and La Granja de San Ildefonso.
Every year... except this one. The pandemic makes this big event format impossible, but once again this year six thousand children and teenagers took part in the Narnian adventure in an original way.
Specifically, this year the activity has been carried out in the educational centers themselves, so that possible crowds have been avoided. Different dynamics and games have been worked on, as in previous years, but this time in the small groups that are possible in these circumstances. The support of new technologies to through the web page that has been opened for the project. and the youtube channel, have been essential for the realization of this edition of 'Journey to Narnia'. The White Witch, Mr. Tumnus or the Pevency brothers have become youtubers in order to address the participants.
Aslan, the protagonist of all the chronicles of Narnia, is none other than Jesus, the lion of Judah.Javier Segura
Although, undoubtedly, the most significant aspect of 'Journey to Narnia' this year has been the educational background. Aware of the psychological difficulties that the students are going through, the project has focused this time on providing the psychological and spiritual tools to grow and mature in times of coronavirus.
The messages of the characters in the videos were aimed at overcoming the psychological consequences of the pandemic: fear, emotional distance, individualism, sadness and lack of horizon. Ginés García Beltrán, Bishop of Getafe, raised the eyes of the participants to fight for the good, betting on Jesus, with concrete day-to-day actions. He did so from the Cerro de los Angeles, with the image of the Heart of Jesus in the background. Aslan, the protagonist of all the chronicles of Narnia, is none other than Jesus, the lion of Judah.
The Chronicles of Narnia
All this material and the dynamics that have been established for the classroom, such as the construction of the door of life, the call to commitment and personalization, have been used by the teachers to work with the students on all these vital aspects that touch them very closely.
An educational experience that places the Religion class at the forefront of teaching, faithful to its evangelizing mission, while responding to the current educational needs of our students.
However, we are waiting for the next event in which all participants can join again in the Real Sitio de La Granja de San Ildefonso or in Aranjuez, which for thousands of children have already become the real kingdom of Narnia.