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The 114 Youth Conferences currently taking place around the world has Baha’i communities buzzing with excitement and activity!
Brisbane, Australia just had theirs over the weekend, and so far 86 of the 114 youth conferences have already taken place leaving 28 still to go!
These conferences were first announced by the Universal House of Justice in February this year, and the aim of these conferences is to promote an understanding of how youth can help contribute to society in a positive and meaningful way through the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program.
I was lucky enough to have the privilege of attending the conference in Houston, USA which ran from August 23-25, and what struck me was how systematic and organized the programs were! We would read statements from the Universal House of Justice together and then go into an in-depth discussion of the material, paragraph by paragraph. As the conference progressed, we split up into small groups based on which part of our respective cities we were from, and we drew up plans for where we would begin efforts to hold junior youth groups once we returned.
I think that the action-oriented element is what I appreciated most about the conference. Alone and unaided, taking on this initiative seems like a daunting task, but as one of the Houston conference participants noted that,
The work feels lighter when you realize that there are so many other youth working for the same purpose and overcoming similar challenges.
The magnificent thing about this all is that youth from all over the world are saying the same thing about these conferences. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, one of the participants summed up the Baha’i Faith’s vision succinctly:
Youth, society, and institutions should collaborate towards the progress of the community.
Speaking to the action-oriented element I mentioned above, one of the youth in Chișinău, Moldova, said,
We are coming to the conference with the firm intention to act after it finishes. The conference is the first step on the path of service for many.
So these conferences are about action, and all across the globe those participating in these conferences are realizing just how profound walking a path of service can be, and these conferences are just the beginning of that journey for many.
Now the conferences aren’t over yet, and they’ll be continuing to take place through to late October, so if any of them are being held in your area, please reach out and support the youth in their noble endeavor!
I’d love to hear about your conference experience in the ‘comments’ section below, and don’t forget to check out the official page for the 114 youth conferences here, where you can see which ones are still remaining, and also read about some of the highlights and see pictures and video footage from those which have already taken place.
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