-O.R,T.I --April 2007 issue magazines
There is no time to lose.” “There is no room left for vacillation.”
“Such an opportunity is irreplaceable.” “To try, to persevere, is
to insure ultimate and complete victory.”
The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi

Alláh’u’Abhá, dear friends.
Once again, we embark for a ride around the island! Let us see how friends of other clusters are getting breezes of confirmation as they engage in the core activities. Inspiring ideas, short stories, sharing of experiences, both from the tutors’ and animators’ as well as the participants’ viewpoints and interesting and useful writings will help you contribute even more to the on-going five-year plan!
You want to share some experience through the next edition of this newsletter? You’ve written a poem on the core activities and want others to read it? You’ve got some information to share? Yes? Here is the person to contact:
Mrs Voahangy Pellegrin
Ottilie Rhein Training Institute
National Office: 40, Volcy Pougnet Street, Port-Louis, Mauritius
Tel: 210-9685 λ Fax: 211-1212 λ Email: orti@bow.intnet.mu

Children’s Classes & Junior Youth Empowerment Program

“Often parents are touched by the inner and outer transformation of their children & pre youths and they are willing to participate in our core activities and some ultimately declare their Faith in Bahá’u’lláh.”
Universal House of Justice


Cluster 1, Baie-du-Tombeau. For one year, there have been morality classes there. The children of different age groups were taught prayers and moral values. Regular devotional meetings were held together with the parents and the children. Parents were aware that these classes were of a spiritual nature and finally, the children were divided into their respective age groups. Children are now following Bahá’í children’s classes every Tuesday from 17:00 to 18:30, Mrs Voahangy Pellegrin being the teacher. Pre youths have formed a junior youth group whose meetings are held every Monday from 17:00 to 18:30. Mr. and Mrs. Pellegrin are co-animators for this group.

Cluster 1, LaTour Koenig. The animators of the Junior Youth group organised a gathering with the parents of the Junior Youths. The parents have witnessed of the positive change in the behaviour of their children. Given that they live in Richelieu they are now willing to move the group meetings to Richelieu rather than La Tour Koenig. Writings memorised by the Junior Youths have enormously impressed and marvelled the parents.

Cluster 2, Moka. A junior youth group has been meeting for some time now in that locality. The group meets on a weekly basis on Sundays and their animators are Mr. Siyyid Lagan and Miss Livà Payaniandy. One of the junior youth of this group shares his experience.
It was the 25th of July 2006 that I have joined this Junior Youth group. At first, I thought that I would be bored without my friends. But, finally, when the day arrived I went to the Junior Youth class and I was satisfied to see that there were many of my school friends and some other children of the locality. There were 2 people; one was Siyyid and one was Livà. They were my tutors. In fact, they were not really like my teachers but my friends. Then I decided not to leave the Junior Youth group because I was making new friends with the other youngsters and also there was nothing special to do at home. So, instead of watching television, I was not wasting time, but spending it usefully. I was happy enjoying myself a lot. We talked a lot about peace, education, how to live in the society, ho to behave with elders. It’s a bit like a Human Values class. I do not regret being a member of the Junior Youth group.
Rovillen Pergun, 12 years old

Devotional Meetings & home visits

“[…] an act of service as simple as visiting the home of a
new believer, […] reinforces the ties of fellowship that
bind the members of the community together.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

Hungary (Extract adapted from Reflections on growth # 14). During a home visit, after some prayers, songs and a first talk on the Eternal Covenant of God, a friend, who is a new believer herself, gave her presentation on the “Life of Bahá’u’lláh.” Beforehand she had expressed nervousness as this was the first time she had to do it, although she was well prepared and had brought with her quotes from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and a description in His own words of the time in the Siyáh-Chál.
The moment she began to speak all the nervousness went away. It was truly magnificent. She spoke from the heart and, yet, was coherent and crystal clear. Listening to her was like watching a film as she took us vividly through the awe-inspiring events of the life of the Manifestation of God for our day and age. Here was somebody who has been so moved by the majesty of Bahá’u’lláh’s life that she lifted the words from the pages, internalized them, made them her own, and then shared with us this most significant of themes in a sincere, engaging, and natural way. As far as I know, she is one of the first friends in Hungary who had received home visits after becoming a Bahá’í, including some deepening themes from Book 2. She has now proceeded to do Book 2 herself and holds presentations in other people’s homes using the very same materials.

Cluster 4, Cité Kennedy. During the second cycle of growth, there were regular home visits paid to the Bajhee family. During the first visit, Mr. Parmanand Sanicharane made use of the Anna’s presentation. Among the persons present were 7 non-Bahá’ís. 10 non-Bahá’ís participated in the second meeting. This time, the theme was the education of children and the meeting was animated by Mrs Brigitte Appadoo. The third one was based on the theme of the family, and Amelia Haskell and Natasha Dubé, the two Canadian friends, were also present. In August, there was also an exhibition on the education of children and the family and two dances were presented by the Diversity Dance Workshop on the occasion.

Cluster 7, Mare d’Albert. Resulting from an individual initiative, 7 youngsters of this cluster met and reflected together. Home visits were made to all the Bahá’ís of this cluster as a result of this meeting. Unbelievable but true, these young people visited the Bahá’ís of Beau-Vallon, Mare d’Albert, Plaine Magnien and Rose-Belle among others. Consequently, a study circle (Ruhi Book 1) will start soon in this cluster. Cheers for individual initiative and home visits!!!

Some home visits conducted in a few European countries, brought about the following reflections from those involved (Extracts from Reflections on growth #14):
Home visits have proven effective because they lend themselves to promoting a Bahá’í conversation – discussions on spiritual concerns that strengthen bonds of fellowship, love and unity.

Visiting teachers… their task is to encourage and inspire individual believers, and to broaden and deepen their vision of the task that is to be done… in the spirit of simple and whole-hearted cooperation.

A home visit is an arena in which the heart can recognize and receive the truth when shared with kindliness, radiance and purity of intention. Our efforts are far from perfect, and we need to do these things again and again, but as we “do” and not just talk about doing, confirmations come from on high, our eyes are opened to new realities, and we grow in confidence, understanding and effectiveness.

Home visits are serving as a way of binding the Bahá’ís together and a source of reaching out to the outside world… a way of bringing life to dormant believers and also an avenue for teaching the waiting masses.

Home visits have proved to be an effective way of gradually leading the new friends into the institute process.

People are yearning for such visits and are ready to discuss prayers.

I had been thinking of making a home visit – now I have done it and am determined to continue.

Study Circles
“Experience suggests that the more closely teaching approaches and methods are aligned with the capacity acquired from the study of the institute courses the more rewarding the results.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

A sustainable Study circle
After a reflection meeting in Cluster 3, I decided to make a home visit at Pon Bon Dieu, Brisée Verdière. During this home visit to a non-Bahá’í family, I introduced a few concepts of Ruhi book 1 to the family members. The 3 youth in the family showed interest in the book and enthusiastically agreed to start with the study. They even invited 3 of their classmates to the course. The Course started with 6 participants (all non Bahá’ís) but settled with 3 after two sessions.
At the end of the Course the youth didn’t give any indication that they wanted to follow Ruhi book 2. I was a bit worried by the situation, so after reflection I decided to start a deepening class with the family. This class continued for 4 weeks. Thereafter a closing ceremony was organized (with local cultural settings) where representatives of LSA of Brisée Verdière, other friends of the Cluster and all the family members of the participants were present. The result of this extra effort and planning was that the youth themselves proposed to go for the study of Ruhi book 2. They were later joined by a Bahá’í of Camp de Masque Pave. They followed the Course very regularly despite their own commitments such as exams, study and family responsibilities. Extra-curricular activities were going out for fishing at La Nicolière Reservoir with other friends and family. Of course, they have completed book 2 and the study of Ruhi book 3 will start very soon.
Lessons Learned
Attendance during the study was at 100%. Although not very participative yet the youth have grasped the concepts to apply them in their own personal lives. The participants keep on revising the lessons of Ruhi book 2. The place where we met for the study was very hospitable, quiet, serene and very conducive to study (on that day the family members, not yet Bahá’ís, did not watch TV or listen to radio or make any unnecessary noise around).
Future activities
Few home visits will be organized as the practice component for book 2 graduates. After completion of the study of Ruhi book 3 a Children’s class will be proposed.
Sharma Gopaul, Tutor

Cluster 9, Chemin Grenier. A new group of participants has started the Ruhi Book 1. The group consists of 3 non-Bahá’ís and 2 Bahá’ís, 4 of which come from family contacts. The tutor, Mr. Sudheer, shares that the level of comprehension of the non-Bahá’í participants is very high. Their very pertinent questions lead the tutor into thinking that the Ruhi institute is exactly what they need to answer their questions.

Cluster 6, Goodlands. There was an increase in the level of enthusiasm of the friends in this cluster. One family, namely 4 of its members had been participating in the Ruhi institute, following which there were 3 new Bahá’ís in October and an additional 4 afterwards. Following firesides being held regularly for two years, 4 members of two different families have adhered to the faith. Among them is one who is a musician who really wants to develop his capacities and talents. Deepening classes are being held once a week.

The reflection meeting for tutors has proved to be particularly inspiring and encouraging in this cluster. Among the different issues raised during this meeting were
Formation of teaching teams
Importance of home visits
The use of Anna’s presentation
Practice component of a study circle
Tutors accompanying their participants in the act of service
Sharing of the vision of growth to a maximum number of believers
Following this meeting, the functioning of teaching teams were revised and home visits have been undertaken to less active friends as well as the community of interests. As a result, there has been 1 new declaration of faith and a study circle (Ruhi Book 5) will soon start and participants of Ruhi Book 1 are actually organising devotional meetings accompanied by their tutors.

Intensive courses
Intensive courses took place as follows during last December
Ruhi Book
2-5 December 2006
4-13 December 2006
18-26 December 2006
We were eight in the group. The chance was that we already had the group of participants of Junior Youth, and what we needed was the empowerment that the Ruhi was to provide. We needed to know what the Universal House of Justice says about this group of people and this book is exactly about that. Being young, I believe that, besides the acts of service which go alongside with the book, it is also important for us to go through the book since there is no doubt we also learn these concepts to apply them in our lives. For instance, a part of it talks about conciliating our lives between studies and activities of the Faith, finding the balance between the two. I think this applies also for us.
Luby, Participant of Book 5
I think this book is quite important since its aim is to help Junior Youth, try to empower them spiritually. Their age is a critical one; it is at this time that we can help them most. I particularly like the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá whereby he talks of the roles of Junior Youth in the society, how they can help build a better world.
Rodish, Participant of Book 5
Ruhi 3 and 4 fast track courses were enriching and I learned much. During Ruhi 3, a strong desire to carry out children classes was ignited in my heart though nothing has been undertaken for the moment; I sincerely hope to get started as soon as possible. I feel really enthusiastic towards future opportunities.
During Ruhi 4, I really appreciated the atmosphere that reigned among u and this made the courses very calm and agreable.
Also and most of all, I a moved by the difficulties encountered by Bahá’u’lláh and deeply touched by the love he spread everywhere. The Ruhi courses on a whole, helped me to become more conscious of the responsibility and privilege of being a Bahá’í and thus I strengthened my faith.
To all the young Bahá’ís ho have not yet gone through these courses, I vividly encourage you to do so.
Nas, Participant of Book 3 & 4

Reflection meetings for tutors
“Having acquired the capacity to serve as tutors of the institute courses, they take up the challenge of accompanying participants in their initial attempts to perform acts of service until they, too, are ready to start their own study circles and help others do the same, widening in this way the scope of the institute’s influence and bringing eager souls into contact with the Word of God.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

During the last four months, meetings were held for tutors all around the island. The common resolutions were
Functioning tutors were to encourage the less active tutors.
Each tutor was to organise a core activity at his place.
We need to work for a multiplication of core activities.
Tutors are ardently encouraged to accompany their participants to carry out the practice component of the study circle.

Checklist for Behaviour Inspiring an Atmosphere of Learning, Love and Service
The following is excerpted from an excellent web site published by the Human Rights Resource Center. This organization trains facilitators to conduct human rights dialogues, and many of the practices it encourages are well-suited to our study circles. Try running down this checklist to make sure your outward behaviour is helping to foster the right atmosphere of learning, love and service:
Be very clear about your role: your behaviour more than your words will convey that you are not the teacher but a fellow learner.
Be aware of your eyes: maintain eye contact with participants.
Be aware of your voice: try not to talk too loudly, too softly, or too much.
Be aware of your "body language": consider where you sit or stand and other ways in which you may unconsciously exercise inappropriate authority.
Be aware of your responsibility: make sure everyone has a chance to be heard and be treated equally; encourage differences of opinion but discourage argument; curb those who dominate; draw in those who are hesitant.
Be aware when structure is needed: explain and summarize when necessary; decide when to extend a discussion and when to go on to the next topic; remind the group when they get off the subject.
These practices are really outward manifestations of the spirit of service we hope to cultivate within ourselves and the study circle participants. That spirit and the behaviour it inspires will surely be very attractive and will help advance the process of entry by troops!
Encouragement in Study Circles
Tutor Tips - Enhancing the Study Circle Experience
Study Circles are part of the global focus on creating a culture of encouragement within the Bahá’í community. Encouragement is not about stroking someone’s ego, but rather affirming the other person’s humanity and spirit. It is appreciating the spiritual qualities of others and acknowledging the beauty of their souls. Encouragement helps people’s spiritual roots go deeper and give them a positive vision of themselves to strive for. “A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 15)
Tutors can inadvertently discourage participants with a frown, criticism, inattentiveness, or a patronizing attitude. Below are ways to incorporate encouragement into your study circle.
Actions That Encourage
Dwell on the positive
Open up choices
Affirm choices
Give a gift
Say thoughtful words
List positive qualities
Write a note
Be enthusiastic
Pay attention
Be inclusive
Be patient
Be loving
Be supportive
Pray together
Share laughter
Be sincere
Be sensitive
Be sympathetic
Use the language of the virtues
Be gentle
Offer to be of service
Spend time
Be genuine; pure motive
Be honest
Meeting based on the use of arts in our core activities
“A grateful integration of the arts into the diverse activities
enhances the surge of energy that mobilizes the believers.”
Message dated 27 December 2005
from the Universal House of Justice

On December 17, about 30 tutors had met at the Bahá’í Institute, Belle-Rose to discover and share their talents. Innovation and creativity were the issues of the day. Dances were presented by the DDW. The art of narrating stories and of reading poems was also shown. Recipes were realised on the spot. Original techniques like origami (the Japanese art of folding paper) were shared. Instrumental music like “tabla” was played. Sketches were also presented. The ultimate goal of this joyful and creative meeting was to motivate the participants to include the use of arts in their core activities.

Did you know?
Mr. Yohan Dhacoo has been designated to act as Cluster coordinator for the cluster 5
Our newly nominated National coordinator for Children’s classes and Junior Empowerment Program is Mrs. Neela Gopaul.
The Training Institute has adopted a policy that course material for every Book (1-7) will be Rs. 40. In the case where the participants are not able to contribute, support from LSA will be needed.

Don’t you forget?!
Our community of interest consist only of those people who have already participated in one or more core activities.
There are two models of expansion, the first one being to invite our community of interest to core activities over a longer period of time before they declare their Faith and the second being to have a large number of declarations in a short time-span.
The two complementary movements referred to by the Universal House of Justice are the movement of individuals through the sequence of institute courses and the movement of clusters from one category to another.