Participation in the discourses of society
In their efforts to contribute to the well-being of society, Bahá'ís are generally trying to engage in meaningful conversations, at university forums, in the workplace, and in their neighborhoods.
On an official level, the Bahá'í Office of Public Affairs (BOPA) represents the South African Bahá'í community in its relationships with government, civil society, the interfaith community and the media. Central to the work of the Office of Public Affairs is to contribute to the development of a unified, just and equal society through advancing thought and public dialogue on matters related to social progress. In its collaboration with individuals and organisations, guided by an ethos of loving collaboration, a sense of justice and openness to investigating truth, the BOPA aims to stimulate a consultative process in a range of social spaces.
To further stimulate this ever-advancing dialogue, the BOPA will generate written statements, both formal and informal, that draw their inspiration from the Bahá’í Writings. Over time, the Office will also create discussion forums, free of partisanship and political affiliation, to further engage with like-minded collaborators.
Based on the current reality of South Africa, representatives of BOPA are currently supporting the discourse on the role of youth in society. They are systematically exploring a few questions to assist them in their understanding: What is the media saying about youth in South Africa? What are the questions that society wants to understand about youth in South Africa? Is there coherence between the conversations at national level and the government’s vision for the youth in South Africa?
The BOPA welcomes collaboration on this discourse with those in society who have a keen interest in the development of youth in South Africa. The hope is that through this collective dialogue, unity of thought is advanced, and solutions for the way forward arise.
No man can attain his true station except through his justice. No power can exist except through unity. No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultation.”— Bahá’u’lláh