August 17, 2019


During the Canada Day long weekend, the Richelieu Vanier Community Centre was host to a youth conference involving over 60 young people. On 29 and 30 June 2019, youth between the ages of 15 and 30, from all corners of Ottawa, gathered together in a spirit of joy, fellowship and camaraderie to participate in the Badasht Youth Conference.

The conference galvanized participants to see themselves as part of a worldwide movement of youth who are working collaboratively to create a better world. The conference opened with a letter from the Local Spiritual Assembly of Ottawa, who reminded participants that youth have a tremendous contribution to make towards addressing the problems of the world and in building vibrant communities.

In a spiritually edifying environment devoted to study and friendship, participants explored topics such as the period and capacity of youth. They also reflected on the positive and negative forces in society. Many participants commented that they have a better appreciation of the role they are to play in fostering the spiritual and material development of their neighbourhoods and local communities, an outcome which will directly benefit their families, friends and neighbours alike. Over the weekend, many friendships were strengthened and built, helping the youth to see themselves as working together as part of a supportive network of friends.

Through workshops and plenary talks, participants at the conference came to see themselves as part of an unbroken chain of effort to create a better world. The program included an address and comments by Auxiliary Board Members Rhona Scoffield and Ayafor Ayafor. Drawing upon the examples of the Dawn Breakers as well as the 80,000 youth who attended a series of 114 youth conferences around the planet in 2013, the youth were encouraged to see themselves as agents of social change and to courageously set aside time during the summer to be of service to their communities.

Conversations included discussions regarding the opportunities for service close to home, as well as in neighbouring cities such as Brockville. A memorable part of the two-day conference was when youth from the Cornwall, Lanark, Renfrew and Ottawa neighbourhoods shared vignettes of their work in their neighbourhood and glimpses of the possibilities that lie ahead. At the end of the conference, several youth were inspired to offer a period of service in Ottawa and in neighbouring communities. Reflecting on the conference, Kaia Dallaire said "The youth conference created and reinforced much needed friendships that strengthened our service together. Hearing of courageous stories from the early followers of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh and being surrounded by those who will take the next steps made for an inspiring event. The event made the future we are working towards feel tangible".

Home     Contact   Site Map    Web Support

© The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ottawa, Canada