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Bates College

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Communities and Social Change


The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program (JYSEP) is a program inspired by the Baha’i Faith offered all around the world to those between the ages of 12 and 15. Due to its widespread implementation, it is likely that the practice of the program is in accordance with the cultural norms of the society in which it is practiced. The present study examines influences that the JYSEP has had on Samoan culture, and the influences that Samoan culture has had on the JYSEP. It has been found that the major values of the program are not in agreement with the traditional conceptions of Samoan youth, but are in agreement with the changing conceptions. It has also been found that Samoan notions of community have altered the ways in which the Junior Youth Group meetings are carried out. Lastly, other religious institutions of Samoa have both received, and denied the program. Despite this, the program has been found to be one of many emerging opportunities for the youth being provided by religious institutions of Samoa.


Civic and Community Engagement | Education | Ethics in Religion | Family, Life Course, and Society | International and Area Studies | Other International and Area Studies | Other Religion | Pacific Islands Languages and Societies | Polynesian Studies | Religion | Social and Behavioral Sciences


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