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The book “Revelation and Social Reality” by Paul Lample, has two paragraphs on how the Junior Youth Programs came to be. It is indeed interesting and at the end of the second paragraph, it gets more exciting as new areas are mentioned. You can find the below text in the aforementioned book on page 135. It’s a really good book and an outline will come soon.
|Today’s worldwide Bahá’í activity directed towards the spiritual empowerment of junior youth is the result of this approach to the systematization of experience. In 1994, the office of Social and economic Development at the Bahá’í World Centre invited a number of individuals to come together and analyze Bahá’í experience in the promotion of literacy to date. Drawing on the lessons learned in Bahá’í projects and on the knowledge of experts outside the community, they proposed three pilot projects to be launched in Cambodia, the Central African Republic, and Guyana in order to accelerate the learning process in this field. In 1996, the effort was extended to an additional six countries in Asia, Africa, and latin America. When in 2002 the results of efforts through which over 2000 facilitators had been trained and over 10,000 students had been reached were analyzed, one feature stood out: the contrast between the extraordinary receptivity of junior youth to these programs and the difficulty of maintaining effective projects of adult literacy which did not have some other dimension, microfinance for example.
A new arena for systematic learning had emerged from experience. The focus shifted from mere literacy to the empowerment of junior youth—an effort to endow them with the capacity to conquer the word and unravel its meaning, both for their own spiritual upliftment and as a basis for social action. The range of content expanded to include science and mathematics and service to humanity. The experience gained from the pilot projects laid the foundation for the preparation of various materials that were gradually shared with interested national communities, enabling them to initiate their own projects. During the Five Year Plan from 2001-2006, the accumulating results prompted a number of training institutes to incorporate the curricular materials into their programs for junior youth. By the end of the Plan, the work with junior youth broadened beyond efforts for social and economic development to become a fourth core activity for Bahá’í communities, incorporating the training of animators of junior youth groups in the institute program. Presently, the office of Social and economic Development, now confident in the efficacy of its approach, is promoting the systematization of experience in a few other areas such as health, community banking, and primary and secondary education.
Not long ago, I posted an outline of book 7. Here is a detailed outline of book 5. Even though book 5 trains Junior Youth Animators, the two first sections, I believe, are applicable to every human being. There is a lot to learn from this book. As book 5 does not seem to be completely finished yet (its still in pre-publication), this outline might not be completely accurate depending on what draft version one has. I hope however it will be of use to you. Here is the outline Animators of Junior Youth Groups – Book 5 – detailed outline