As individuals and communities continue to adapt to new conditions required to address the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), participants in Baha’i community building activities are taking creative initiatives to uplift those around them.
In Nanaimo, British Columbia, the Baha’i Training Institute has been collaborating with the local foodbank, Loaves and Fishes, and the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, to ensure food security for area families. This entailed working safely to put together and distribute food packages for families in the neighbourhood.
This effort to prepare food packages was the natural result of relationships that have developed over many years between Baha’i community building efforts and the work of like-minded organizations in the neighbourhood.
A group of youth in North Vancouver decided to create electronic post cards with quotations and encouraging messages for healthcare workers on the front line of responding to the health crisis. They were distributed to the different health authorities in the Lower Mainland.
In Montreal, Quebec, a number of young people have been thinking about how to give hope to those in their surrounding neighbourhood and city. They created a social media account that would allow them to highlight artistic creations on the theme of hope and inspiration during a time of challenges.
“Many of the young people were already thinking of these things, like how to give hope. People have really responded to it. They are thinking about how to serve each other, even though they have to observe some physical distance,” said Mona Ghadirian.
The page attracted the attention of another group of youth who were training to serve as animators of junior youth empowerment groups. They created a number of artworks that could be shared with others. One of these pieces was inspired by the quotation, “Unite and bind together the hearts,” which spoke to the longing for spiritual connection during a time of physical separation.
Another initiative in Montreal has been to record devotional programs in French and English that are shared on a social media channel.
“This initiative is really meant for everyone who is looking for some spiritual nourishment during this challenging time,” said Clara Haskell.