Since its inception in the early 1970s, the Ruhi Institute, an agency of the Baha'i world community, has striven to serve, through its educational activities, young people between the ages of eleven and fifteen. Those in this age group are often referred to as 'junior youth' and represent a special segment of society.

As the Institute witnessed the idealism and energy of so many in this age range, it became convinced of the importance of providing them with the opportunity to explore a number of themes and concepts that would enable them to deal with the complexities of life, combat negative social forces and become active agents of social change.

The next several decades constituted a period of action and reflection that benefited increasingly from a world-wide experience in serving junior youth from a variety of backgrounds, including efforts in the field of development, most notably in the area of literacy.

By the year 2000, the concept of the spiritual empowerment of junior youth had emerged when it was learned that students were more motivated to read when what they are reading was relevant to their lives and directly assisted them to transform themselves and their communities. In addition to the moral concepts drawn from the Baha'i teachings, the texts of the program aim to develop language skills, address mathematical concepts, social issues and prepare young people to approach the investigation of physical, social and spiritual reality in a scientific manner. Therefore, the texts of the program form the basis for consultations that inspire meaningful social action carried out by the groups.

Junior youth groups and animator trainings are carried out in homes and neighborhoods all throughout the world.

The aim is to become channels for the flow of the power of the human spirit: the power of unity, of love, of humble service, of pure deeds.
— The Ruhi Institute

regional training institute of the appalachian states

  • This Institute Serves Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
  • It is one of a global network of training institutes fostering the capacity to serve humanity among all age groups.
  • All those participating in its programs are considered collaborators who walk a path of service to humanity.
  • There are three stages of the educational system serving children, adolescents, youth, and adults.