- Start: July 8, 2018 12:00 pm
- End: July 8, 2018 3:00 pm
All around the world, youth are making a difference by acting as mentors and friends to junior youth, who in turn initiate projects to help their communities. We invite youth aged 16 to 30 to be part of this movement. Join us for a youth workshop at the Paul Reynolds Community Centre noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. Lunch will be served.
Bahá’ís look upon junior youth – aged roughly 11 to 15 – with a sense of hope and optimism. They believe youths of this age are characterized by “an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world.”
Starting from this viewpoint, Bahá’ís have created a junior youth spiritual empowerment program to help people of this age group develop their intellectual, moral and spiritual capacities.
While the junior youth program is inspired by Bahá’í spiritual principles, it is open to young people of all faiths. between the ages of 11 and 15. The program’s focus is to apply universal spiritual principles to the challenges faced by junior youth.
Crucial to the junior youth program is the involvement of older youth from aged 16 to 30.
Junior youth need an environment that nurtures their spiritual qualities and inspires their zeal for learning and meaningful action. The role that older youth, who relate to the experiences of early adolescence, can play in creating such an atmosphere is critical. Since the junior youth often look to them for examples of how to act, older youth are in a position to help their younger counterparts strengthen their moral foundations.
What happens in junior youth groups?
During junior youth classes, participants develop their powers of expression, their ability to solve problems and their capacity to be of service to humanity.
Participants develop their capacities through a combination of activities.
- The program seeks to create a warm social atmosphere in which junior youth feel welcomed, accepted and respected.
- Junior youth participate in the art, music, storytelling and cooperative games as both means of developing their power of a expression and ways to bond with others in the group.
- The participants read, reflect upon and discuss stories about junior youth from different parts of the world. In relating these stories to their own lives, they can think about how to apply the spiritual principles found within them to real-life problems.
- The junior youth come up with ideas for community service projects and carry them out themselves. In so doing, they develop their capacity to consult with others, solve problems and be of service to humanity.
- Older adolescents and young adults assist the junior youth as “JY animators,” but it is the junior youth themselves who take the initiative in group projects.
As our friends at bahaiteachings.org state, the junior youth spiritual empowerment program is designed to help youths between the ages of 11 and 15 to “develop into focused, happy and productive teenagers and young adults.”