Tag Archives children

Will We All Be Musicians in the Future?

More than 25 years ago I was praying at the Mansion of Mazra’ih, asking God for guidance on what to do next as I was leaving the Baha’i World Centre after two and a half years of service. While I was thinking of pioneering or travel-teaching, instead, I was startled to hear the word “music” pop into my head. That was so out of left field that it felt like a very clear answer to my prayer. Since then, I have been devoting more and more of my time and studies to music. Over time, I’ve been asking myself about the importance of music in the Baha’i Faith. Here is a small snippet of what I’ve learned so far. Continue reading

Growing Up – A Children’s Book About Life’s Stages

A dynamic team made up of Catherine A. Honeyman (or Catie) and Bahiyyih Maani (Bahi) have created a resource for children called Growing Up: A Book About Life and Love, Inspired by the Baha’i Writings and we were excited to learn all about it! In this interview, Catie and Bahi tells us about their book, how it came together, and its purpose.

Here’s what Catie and Bahi shared:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

I’m Catie, the author, and right now I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the United States. My husband Neil and I have three children who surprise and delight us with their unique personalities—Naim, Elena, and William. Our first two children were born in Rwanda, Neil’s home country, and we keep a lot of connections there. I work for an international nonprofit organization promoting youth training, employment, and entrepreneurship programs in many different countries. That means I think a lot about how to help young people transition into fulfilling adult roles in our society!

I’m Bahiyyih, the illustrator, and I live in Vila Velha, in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, with my husband Diego, and our two daughters, Agatha and Jade. I’ve been a Baha’i since I was born as the daughter of Persian pioneers. I studied architecture and urbanism and served in the Holy Land twice: the first time as a gardener and the second time as an architect. The second time I stayed for three years and that period gave me the chance to learn how to paint with watercolours. Since 2015, I’ve been learning more and more about the techniques and have been illustrating books and doing personalized commissions. Continue reading

What You Win – A Book of Stories for the Whole Family by Donna Price

Donna Rae Price has authored a book called What You Win: Stories for the Whole Family. The book features 16 short stories. From silly to serious, these hopeful tales are about walking your own path, finding friends, fighting everyday battles and the value of demonstrating good qualities and virtues. The stories are short, sweet and sure to capture the hearts of children who are contributing to the betterment of the world.

Donna generously agreed to tell us about herself, her book, and what she hopes you’ll take away with you once you’ve finished reading it:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Northern California (USA), where I live with my family. My mom became a Baha’i when I was eight so I know what it’s like to go to school where no one has ever heard of your religion, or think it’s weird, or to fast during marching band in the heat, or to be quizzed by your friends’ parents. I can really relate to what many Baha’i children are facing.

I’ve been writing since childhood, but for the last 15 years I’ve been so fortunate to contribute to Brilliant Star Magazine. I get to work with a wildly talented and creative crew who are passionate about empowering children and youth. It’s a dream come true for me to have a job with so much camaraderie and hope for the future.

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My Reflections on the Global Conference in Geelong: Empowering Our Youngest Treasures

Photo courtesy of Samin Todd

As our family made the one hour journey to the world conference in the city of Geelong, Australia, my seven year old son made quite the soul-stirring remark from the rear seat of our car, his high-pitched, raspy voice tugging at our heartstrings.

“Mum, I invited my friend to come along this weekend.”

“Oh really? What did you say?”

“I said, ‘Hey, do you want to come to the conference tomorrow?'”

“And what did he say?”

“He said, ‘What’s it about?’ And I said, ‘To make the world a better place.’ So he said he’d ask his mum.”

My son had become inspired after watching this video released by the United Kingdom about the world conferences. He even wanted to approach his school principal and invite him to the momentous occasion.

There are so many lessons we can reap from this simple yet brazen conversation between two children: courage, friendliness, boldness, love. If only we all had that same level of determination. It is most definitely a gift, and one that we tend to repress as we age and as we become more conscious of the perceptions of those around us.

It is for this reason that I believe it is vital that our global conferences cater as much for our children as they do for the rest of us: that they empower, inspire and spur our children on so that the upcoming nine years and beyond see our children harness their inherent gems and propel them forward with utmost steadfastness.

But how can this be achieved? Here are some ideas from my humble part of the world. Continue reading

Family Matters: Filling Your Home with Purpose & Love – A Workbook by Monette Van Lith

Monette Van Lith has put together a workbook for assisting families called Family Matters: Filling Your Home with Purpose and Love. The workbook and its exercises are designed to help family members connect and bond, and to create an environment where everyone can thrive. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Monette very graciously agreed to tell us about her workbook and here’s what she shared with us:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Thank you for this opportunity to share a little bit about the Family Matters workbook and the work I do. I am a certified life coach and I work with parents who want to level-up their parenting and family life. Parents also come to me when they’re feeling overwhelmed or depleted. Using a very effective coaching model, my clients discover how to reconnect with their inner joy and purpose. I offer both one-on-one and group coaching. 

In my previous career I worked at various United Nations Programs in East and West Africa, and in New York at UNICEF and the World Health Organization. 

Going back to my origins, I was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Suriname, and returned to Europe to attend university. I’ve enjoyed living and working in different parts of the world and am currently based just outside of Boston, in the US.

Continue reading

Virtue Cards – A New Resource for Children

Tuaine Hamilton, who some know as Ine, has created a thoughtful and beautifully designed tool for helping children develop their innate qualities and inner gems: virtue cards!

You may recognize Ine from her Studio Session “Listen” or from her interview about her album that bears the same name (you can read it here if you’d like).

I was delighted to hear from her about her virtue cards. In this interview, she tells us why she created them, how they can be used, and what she’s learned in the process of making them. Here’s what she shared: Continue reading

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie: A Man, a Trumpet, and a Journey to Bebop – A Book for Junior Youth & Young Readers

Bellwood Press has created a series of books for junior youth and young readers called the Change Maker series which tells the true stories of individuals who worked to bring about positive social change. So far the series includes three titles: Robert Sengstacke Abbott: A Man, a Paper, and a Parade; John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie: A Man, a Trumpet, and a Journey to Bebop; and Richard St. Barbe Baker: Child of the Trees.

Susan Engle authored the first two titles, and I wanted to hear more from her about the book about Dizzy Gillespie (you may also remember Susan from when she shared all about her enchanting tiny books). Susan is a delight and I hope you enjoy this conversation:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about who Dizzy Gillespie was?

If you had lived in his neighborhood when he was a child, you might have heard his family and neighbors calling out, using his first two names as is a southern tradition, “John Birks, sit a spell, why don’t you?” He was constantly on the move. When he was in elementary school, he was provided with a trombone for a small school band. From then on, he channeled most of his energy into playing music. Since his arms were too short to play all the notes on trombone, he would often borrow a neighbor’s trumpet, taking turns with Brother Harrington, practicing for hours at a time. As he grew and became better and better, finally leaving South Carolina for Philadelphia and New York City in his teens, he had years of playing and working out sounds and keys for trumpet tunes under his belt.

Trying out for the Freddie Fairfax Band when he was about 18, one of the band members said, “That dizzy little cat’s from down South.” The nickname “Dizzy” stuck. By the time he had helped bring about a new style of jazz called Bebop, performed for more than one President of the United States, traveled around the world for the State Department, and recorded dozens of records, Dizzy was well-known and loved—not only by many of his fellow musicians, but by jazz fans across the U.S. and around the world. He had many official and unofficial titles, including “King of the Trumpet,” “Ambassador of Jazz,” and “Diz the Wiz.” By the end of his life, he had also received many awards including 14 honorary degrees, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He even has a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.

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Nurturing Human Beans – Free Activity Books for Kids to Intentionally Practice Spiritual Principles

I was excited to learn about an awesome new initiative called ‘Nurturing Human Beans’, a series of free activity booklets aimed at helping children put spiritual principles into practice.

These activity books were created by a couple of my friends named Anisa and Dina, both mothers, who were trying to figure out what activities they could do with their children, especially during this time of isolation as a result of the current pandemic. Their first activity booklet is titled ‘LOVE – A Practical Guide for Kids (During Social Distancing)’, and like all their booklets, they aim to connect children and their actions with spiritual principles that bring meaning to the circumstances they find themselves in.

I wanted to learn more about this wonderful free activity booklet and the ‘Nurturing Human Beans’ initiative as a whole, so I got in touch with Anisa and Dina to find out more. Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading