Insights from the Field: Podcast explores FUNDAEC’s agricultural initiatives

June 25, 2023

Insights from the field: Podcast explores FUNDAEC’s agricultural initiatives

In this podcast episode, Leslie Stewart, Executive Director of FUNDAEC, discusses insights about some of that organization’s agricultural and educational initiatives.

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CALI, Colombia — In this podcast episode, Leslie Stewart, Executive Director of FUNDAEC, sat with the News Service to discuss insights about some of that organization’s initiatives, particularly focusing on the areas of agriculture, food production, and distribution.

Ms. Stewart provided a glimpse into ways that the Bahá’í principles of the harmony of science and religion, the oneness of humanity, and selfless service to society can inspire a population to take charge of its own progress and prosperity.

In one account, Ms. Stewart explained how young graduates of FUNDAEC’s Preparation for Social Action (PSA) program, known as “promoters of community wellbeing,” are increasingly turning their attention to the protection, preservation, and restoration of the natural environment. These initiatives, she says, are contributing to the recovery of some native species that have been adversely affected by the practice of monoculture.

She explained that efforts of youth engaged in the PSA program are not only reshaping the way people in a community interact with each other, but also enhancing their ability to address local challenges.

“Youth are becoming more conscious of the contribution they can make through planting trees and through producing food, which is transforming their relationships with other youth, family members, and community organizations,” said Ms. Stewart.

She added that through these endeavors, communities can progress by fostering close collaboration among people of all ages. This enables members of a community to feel hope “amidst the forces of disintegration. …There is something they can do, [though] simple, something to make a powerful contribution to the challenges of their community.”

FUNDAEC (Fundación para la Aplicación y Enseñanza de las Ciencias)—a Bahá’í-inspired organization—was founded in Colombia in 1974 and has been dedicated for over 40 years to developing capacity in people to contribute to the well-being of their societies.