©2019 by Youth Empowerment Programme PEI. 

About the Youth Empowerment Programme

 

Falling between the ages of 11 and 14 and representing a transition from childhood to youth, junior youth experience rapid physical, intellectual, and emotional changes. Their spiritual powers expand. A new level of awareness fosters in them an increased interest in profound questions and in their talents and abilities. Their “faculties of observation are broadened and deepened”, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states, and their intellectual capacities “are trained and awakened”. During this short and critical three-year period, ideas about the individual and society that may very well shape the rest of their lives are formed. However, delight at these new powers is often combined with feelings of worry, discomfort, and doubt that may produce contradictions in behaviour. Directing their new abilities towards selfless service to humanity is therefore needed at this age. It requires that they receive the right kind of education and nurturing, otherwise their “qualities will be stifled in the foul atmosphere of self ”.

The Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) is a community initiative that strives to equip young people between the ages of 11 and 14 with a profound understand of their own potentials. Often also referred as the junior youth spiritual empowerment program or simply junior youth groups. This educational program typically engages older youth (ages 15 to 30) as animators of younger peers aged 11 to 14 to help them develop their powers of expression, capacities for moral reasoning, and release their capacities for service. The program combines study, mentorship and social action.

We are a group of youth and young adults in PEI who are convinced of, and passionate about, the capacities of our younger peers, and what they have to offer the world. The program uses a curriculum developed by Bahai International Community based on the main principle of oneness of humanity and that all cultures, race, and religion can work together to contribute to community building .

The program aims to assist junior youth to:

  • Enhance comprehension and language skills

  • Be able to articulate ideas with precision, clarity and eloquence

  • Recognize the moral issues underlying the choices they make

  • To discuss ideas and form a strong moral identity

  • Contribute to the betterment of their community

  • Carry out service projects in their community

In our work with junior youth we use a set of texts that are concerned with developing language skills and the power of expression. Some in the first category also address mathematical concepts and social issues, while others seek to prepare young people to approach the investigation of physical, social and spiritual reality in a scientific manner. Although inspired by the teachings of the Baha’i Faith, all concepts are approached from an entirely non-denominational viewpoint.

  • Breezes of Confirmation

  • Glimmerings of Hope

  • Thinking About Numbers

  • Walking the Straight Path

  • Learning About Excellence

  • The Human Temple

  • Drawing on the Power of the Word

From the Universal House of Justice - 

Let them come to realize the full significance of their efforts to help young people form

a strong moral identity in their early adolescent years and empower them to contribute to the well-being of their communities.

1

...and the spread in influence of a programme that instils in junior youth the sense of a

twofold moral purpose, to develop their inherent potentialities and to contribute to the

transformation of society...

2

3

...seeing in junior youth instead altruism, an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world. Account after account, in which junior youth in countries all over the planet give voice to their thoughts as participants in the programme, testifies to the validity of this vision.

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