Tag Archives: Junior Youth

Community Building Initiatives

30 Jun

Junior Youth empowerment programs was one activity I was engaged with whilst in Swaziland. These programs are aimed at junior youth between the ages of 12-15 and are designed to assist them during these crucial years of their lives where they are in the midst of transitioning from childhood to adulthood. These programs also empower them to direct their energies towards the advancement of their communities and civilization in whole.

Though it was hard for me to sustain my own JY group whilst in Swaziland (due to continuous travelling to initiate and continue other activities) I had the bounty of training JY animators-those who initiate, facilitate and sustain JY groups-whose role is more of a mentor and leader by example rather than a teacher. I also travelled to South Africa and stayed in a farm house all alone where I was engaged in tutoring future animators for a two week block.

Junior Youth group in South Africa

A major component of JY groups is, as mentioned earlier, service to the community. These acts of service can include anything that the JY froup can think of and is assisted by the animator. One such activity we did in Swaziland was the renovation and beautifying of Baha’i property which also runs as a pre-school to residents in the wider community and where community events are held.

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A friend of mine also did similar community building activities with Junior Youth whilst serving last year at the Baha’i House of Worship in Dehli, India. He beautifully documented the campaign where conscious people from the wider community saw the need for Junior Youth development programs and were trained as animators. This video will not only be appreciated by those who volunteered in India, but by all who have a sense of the need for such community building initiatives and is highly encouraged to watch in order to get an appreciation and better understanding of all of our endeavours put in action, albeit through a different approach. This video can be watched at http://vimeo.com/25659149 and the password is “junioryouth”.

It is hoped that by instilling such qualities as selfless service to humanity, coupled with moral guidance, these junior youth will grow up to be leaders for positive change in their future lives. These JY programs are systematically run world-wide by both Baha’is and non-Baha’is who are interested in creating change to advance their fellow-men and uplift society.

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