have always been fascinated by how Baha’i and Baha’i-inspired
organizations tend to evolve so drastically to meet changing conditions
and build on experience. The
is a perfect example. It began in 1982 to provide an academic
some of the many Baha’i scholars who were forced to flee Iran during
the Islamic Revolution. For many years they ran training
Baha’is who were coming in from all over the world in venues all over
Panchgani like the campus of the New Era Teacher Training Centre and
the famous Prospect Hotel. In 1998 the Academy moved into its
home right next to the Baha’i Bhavan (Baha’i Centre) and an old house
that apparently Gandhi had stayed in at some point.
2000 it began to collaborate with a number of colleges and universities
across the state of Maharashtra to offer a program that helps to fill
the gap that exists in value education offered to students.
the Academy has gone on to focus more and more on this program and
develop curriculum that is used along side curriculum developed by the
The Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC)
support the Academy’s efforts to build institutional capacity I have
had the chance to help out things like their three year planning
process, website planning, curriculum development and public relations
work. One of the main reasons I decided to set out on from
this year was to have the chance to work in an environment where I
could more directly and explicitly apply the teachings of the Baha’i
Faith in the context of a formal organization. It’s been
stimulating to spend so much time studying material to try to draw from
the experience of other Baha’i-inspired organizations all over the
world that are part of this collective learning process about how to
effectively engage in social action and discourse.
Click here to see a small set of
photos from trip I went on to Nashik for the Baha’i Academy. Click here to see a larger set
from the Baha’i Academy.