Social Action

Preparation for social action (PSA) is a program offered by one of the Baha'i inspired organisations as a non-formal educational program that enables local tutors to instruct and work closely with a group of 10-15 young people usually aged 15 to 25, in a rural-urban area setting. Study of the PSA course, takes 3hours a day, takes 2 to 3years to complete,and is reinforced by practical 'learning by doing activities such as the development of environmental action groups, working with groups of young children and youth, health education and planting, growing and maintaining agricultural research plots.

Promoting community wellbeing implies action. The development of spiritual qualities and attitudes, the understanding of concepts and the acquisition of skills and abilities are all meant to lead to action. To contribute to community wellbeing, Promoters will carry out practical exercises and projects which are an integral part of the learning process. When they are carried out effectively they help participants see the implications of serving as a Promoter thereby increasing the levels of motivation. In a sense we can think of becoming a promoter of community wellbeing as a process through which one's actions to contribute to and engage in social action become more systematic and effective. This process begins immediately one engages in the study of the texts and in the related practices and projects. As he or she advances along the courses he or she becomes a more effective Promoter able to engage in complex actions. Being a promoter of community wellbeing is therefore not something that happens at the end of the program; it is a path on which one walks from the beginning of his participation in the program.

An area that has shown considerable promise in empowering young people as they contribute positively to the community is that of the education of young children. The 'Nurturing Young Minds' unit is offered in Block 1 and immediately requires the students to take community action. The community is visited and elders are asked a number of questions about child raising practices. The youth from the PSA groups then seek permission from parents to offer once or twice weekly classes to 3 to 7 year olds in which they teach the children early skills in the areas of numeracy and pre-operational scientific thinking, as well as songs, games and coloring. Nurturing Young Minds has been found to be a powerful catalyst for creating community awareness about PSA.

Moses Senoga and an attending nurse involved in immunization for children at the National Baha'i Center, Kampala

A student of the Preparation for Social Action(PSA)program conducting a "Nurturing Young Minds" class in her community