Source: Caritas Westminster
Schools in the Diocese of Westminster are exploring a new way of involving pupils in the community outreach and Catholic social teaching offered by Caritas Westminster.
Imagining Futures was launched as part of Caritas Westminster’s 10th anniversary celebrations. This project is designed to encourage bold collective imagination in schools, create ambitious visions for the future and inspire students to take small steps for personal and societal change.
A two-part project to be carried out over two terms, Imagining Futures stimulates students to express a positive and hopeful vision of the future through the creative arts and to take social action. It will enhance the Catholic life of participating schools and connect students to their local communities, and will begin in September 2022.
Meriel Woodward, Deputy Director of Caritas Westminster, said: “We face some of the greatest challenges the human race has ever faced: climate change, inequality, mass migration, war and political polarization, and our response is often fear. But it’s well known among cognitive scientists that fear triggers the fight or flight receptors and causes our brains to shut down. The result is anxiety and apathy at a time when action is more than never needed.
“Messages of hope, on the other hand, open the mind to creative solutions.” She continued, “It’s often the young people who have the greatest capacity for creativity and breakthrough to share the message. Imagining Futures will bring people together to dream of a better future.
“As Pope Francis said in Let’s Dream: ‘We can begin to discern, to see new possibilities, at least in the little things that surround us, or that we do every day. And then, by engaging in those small things, we begin to imagine another way of living together, of serving our beloved fellow men. We can begin to dream of real change, possible change.”
Imagining Futures was designed by education experts experienced in transmitting the values of Catholic social teaching to young audiences.
In term one, students will have space to exercise their collective imagination and envision a hopeful vision for their local community ten years from now. Students will express this vision through the creative arts, whether traditional artwork, sculpture, poetry, prose, playwriting, or any other medium that they and their teacher deem appropriate.
During the second term, students will take small but significant steps towards this vision by planning and implementing a social action project in their local community. By seeing the impact they can have, students will learn that the vision they have imagined is not only possible, but that they can (and should) contribute to it.
The whole experience will give pupils a good foundation in Catholic social teaching, and it stands alongside Caritas Westminster’s other program for primary schools, Caritas Ambassadors, which has been gaining popularity in the Diocese of Westminster since its inception. three years ago.
Caritas Westminster is the official social charity of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, which covers most of London north of the Thames and Hertfordshire. For more information, see: www.caritaswestminster.org.uk/