Australian Baha'i Sites

Learning how to work in pockets 

More than 100 families are connected to the capacity-building process unfolding in the community of Elizabeth in Adelaide, with many children, young people and adults reflecting, consulting and contributing to the transformation of the area in which they live. 

The process began in 2017, when two individuals started thinking about forming a junior youth group in the community and went on to encourage the potential within many other youth to serve as animators and assistants in their own activities. 

Now, seven years on, the process has evolved beyond one junior youth group to include regular reflection meetings, visits to friends and families, accompaniment of new animators and teachers, 19-day gatherings in the neighbourhood, and three-monthly intensive training camps and junior youth camps. 

Social action initiatives are key to the growth process in Elizabeth.

According to the neighbourhood’s youth, the community-building process is spearheaded by a core group of friends meeting on a regular basis to make general plans before breaking into their smaller groups or ‘pockets’. 

These smaller spaces allow the friends to reflect, consult and act systematically within the area where they live, slowly widening the circle of friends engaged in the process at a local level. 

“We are striving to learn how to work better in these pockets, and this will continue to be a learning experience for us,” they say. “Another learning is around groupings of families, where we strive to engage everyone, including parents, in conversations that motivate them to be active protagonists of change in the neighbourhood.” 

The friends gather together in one neighbourhood in Elizabeth.

Throughout Elizabeth’s growth process, the community has witnessed numerous glimpses of social transformation within its individuals, which in turn effects a transformation in the surrounding society. The youth tell of a time when one Book 1 Ruhi participant made prayer her daily habit, bringing God to the forefront of her mind and consciously thinking about how to better herself and “make her parents proud”. In another instance, a group of older youth made it their mission to be better examples for the younger youth in the neighbourhood, encouraging them to attend camps, engage in sports, and participate in devotionals and other spaces conducive to their growth. 

“More of the older youth are striving to embody higher qualities that the younger youth can strive for,” they say. 

Thanks for reading.

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Elizabeth

The community of Elizabeth is located in northern Adelaide and has more than 100 families connected to the capacity-building process. Characterised by a healthy rhythm of reflection, study, and action, the community is eager to learn how to contribute to the transformation of their neighbourhood through the unfoldment of the moral education process rooted in […]

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Published in June, 2024, in Community Stories > Community Building

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/community-stories/learning-how-to-work-in-pockets/

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