Daidanaw, a village in the district of Kungyangon, Myanmar, stretches a few kilometres on either side of a main road that runs through numerous other similar villages. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the entire village, attracted to Bahá’u’lláh’s vision for a world founded on justice and unity, embraced His Teachings and began applying them in their lives. ‘Abdu’l- Bahá, living in Haifa at the time, was so happy to hear the news of the people of Daidanaw recognizing the universal truth in Bahá’u’lláh’s Writings that He described it as “His village”. Some 100 years later, over 500 youth gathered in “His village” from 4 to 6 October, inspired by the same Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and sharing a desire to further advance their efforts in contributing to the betterment of the world.
“This is my first time to participate in a gathering like this and I have learned many things. One thought I have is that youth do things together, that is our way, and we can learn to channel our energy in service. I want to share my insights with other youth so that we can serve our community together,” commented a participant.
“I see that there are two kinds of education: material and spiritual. Without spiritual education, we may not think of the importance of serving others. When I go back to my community I will share these things with friends and encourage them to serve our community so that we can work together towards the well-being of our neighbourhoods.”
A participant at the conference
Workshop groups, comprising youth from the same locality, thoughtfully explored the themes of the conference materials, which included the concept of building a life centered on service to others. As the participants shared their experiences and insights with one another, a deeper understanding emerged of the importance of spiritual education in empowering individuals and communities. One young person said, “I see that there are two kinds of education: material and spiritual. Without spiritual education, we may not think of the importance of serving others. When I go back to my community I will share these things with friends and encourage them to serve our community so that we can work together towards the well-being of our neighbourhoods. Inspired by the call to selfless service, some younger youth from the local community set about cleaning the venue each day. When asked about their contribution, one commented, “Whatever we can do help our brothers and sisters so they can study easily brings us joy.”
The participants also agreed that building healthy and vibrant communities involves constant learning. One youth said, “When we serve together, we mutually learn from our experiences. By doing so, we will generate knowledge that will help our community become a better place for all.” The conversation also highlighted the importance of fostering strong bonds of friendship among a group of people who serve and learn together, as one young person commented, “...I have learned how we are stronger when we work together. For example, we can easily break a single stick but when many sticks are tied together, it’s not so easy. Unity gives us strength. I now have a vision for my community to become a better place by working alongside others.”
Reflective of the spirit of joy at the conference, the evening plenaries included artistic presentations inspired by each day’s study and discussions, and groups of youth presented traditional dances, poetry, and songs that uplifted the hearts of all gathered.
Spending three days together focused on the role that their generation can play in the advancement of humanity had a transformative effect on the participants. Bolstered by their renewed sense of purpose, and encouraged and supported by the friendships made, the young people set out from the conference eager to implement the plans that they had made to contribute to the well-being of their communities.Return to top
Continental Counsellors representing the Universal House of Justice are warmly welcomed as they arrive at the conference venue
Over 500 youth attended the gathering in Daidanaw
Devotional programmes at the beginning of each session set a befitting atmosphere for the consultations
Discussions began in large groups and then broke into smaller ones in order to explore the themes of the conference materials in light of local realities
The conference was filled with both purposeful study and joyful fellowship
Participants consulted on how they can assist those younger than themselves to contribute to the well-being of their communities
Creative ways were found to express the concepts learned during the different workshop sessions.
Music and the arts were a significant component of the conference and contributed to creating a joyful atmosphere