Saturday, January 24, 2009

Outreach focusing on Junior Youth and Children's Classes

Here is a refreshing and informative report from Northern Ireland:


A service project in Northern Lights cluster over 15—16 November aimed to set up one children’s class and one junior youth group. It resulted in the establishment of one junior youth group, initially with 10 junior youth, and two children’s classes, one for 5 – 7 year olds initially with three children and one for 8 – 10 year olds initially with seven children.

“The plan was to have teams of two people go out in their respective assigned streets and offer a children’s class and a junior youth group. We would offer that same day a ‘’taster session’’ of about 45 minutes long to give people the chance to see what we would do in a children’s class or a junior youth group. On the first day eight of us met at 7.30 am for a spiritual mix of individual and collective prayers, deepening and consultation. After this four teams of two went out to their assigned streets and/or parks that were within walking distance of the local Community Centre. We knocked on doors as well as meeting people on the streets to inform them of the opportunity to join either a children's class or a junior youth group by inviting them to the taster session that was going to happen that day. Nine children and 10 junior youth attended the taster session.

Given the excellent turn out on Saturday the team after much reflection and consultation decided to forego outreach on Sunday and instead decided to visit the parents of the children and junior youth that came on Saturday. The main purpose of the visit was to inform the parents of the content of the course and child protection procedures. Also we knew there was a possibility that those whom we made contact with on Saturday who didn't come to the taster session may turn up at the taster session on Sunday.

There were seven of us on Sunday. We met at 8.00 am for a spiritual mix of individual and collective prayers, deepening and consultation. Following this, three teams revisited the homes of children and junior youth that had attended on Saturday. All but two homes were contacted with positive responses. The other two homes were followed up soon after. For the Sunday taster session we had five junior youth attended, of which three were newcomers. One child attended, but had also attended on Saturday. And on Sunday evening we reflected on a great weekend of learning through experience.”


CommuNIqué - Newsletter of the Bahá'í Community in Northern Ireland
Issue 141 - 2 Sharaf 165 BE - 1 January 2009 CE

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