Bahá’í Year of Service
Your decisions and responsibilities gradually increase as you progress through youth: finishing middle school, attending high school, then college, and starting to work. A year of service can provide clarity and direction for the next stage of your life with the support of a like-minded Bahá’í community and youth. Shoghi Effendi, `Abdu’l-Bahá’s oldest grandson, expresses the importance of Bahá’í service by saying, “There can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity.”
Bahá’í World Centre
The Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel always needs volunteers. Volunteers are fed, housed, and trained for many different jobs. The shrines, holy sites, pilgrim house, administrative buildings, and gardens require hundreds of people for administration and maintenance. The Bahá’í World Centre requires a minimum commitment of a year, but volunteers can stay for a year and a half, two and a half years, and longer.
There are also three permanent Bahá’í schools in the United States: Louehelen in Davidson, Michigan, Green Acre in Eliot, Maine, and Bosch in Santa Cruz, California. They operate year-round with classes on themes related to spiritual transformation, racial unity, equality of women and men, environmental stewardship, and Bahá’í writings and history. They accept short-term volunteers for three months or less, while long-term placements are available for those over eighteen years old. You can attend courses while volunteering. Regional summer and winter Bahá’í schools are another way to volunteer and build bonds with like-minded Bahá’í youth.
Concentrated teaching efforts in a particular area also utilize the energy and creativity of youth to help spread Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings. These opportunities give you experience creating, organizing, and teaching—all skills that are valuable as an adult. Volunteers come out with new experiences, skills, friendships, and greater confidence in themselves.