Conceptual Framework

The Members of the Board of Varqa Foundation have been inspired by their conviction that the principles, concepts and counsels contained in the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith provide humanity with an invaluable source of wisdom and inspiration in its search for a new path of development. Accordingly they have developed a set of basic premises which may be summarized as follows:

The purpose of development is the well being of people. Well being is understood to refer to material, intellectual, social and spiritual fulfillment. The belief of the Foundation is that man’s true wealth lies in the development of the spiritual qualities which represent the foundation of social and cultural progress.

All aspects of human well-being are interrelated. Material well-being will be of limited value to people as long as man’s baser qualities, such as self centeredness, are allowed to dominate his actions. However it is very difficult for people to develop their finer qualities unless due consideration is also given to the material welfare of society.

Man’s individual development cannot be fostered in isolation from the institutions and structures of the society. Indeed, it is through commitment to the progress of society that an individual can achieve personal development. Effective social and individual progress requires a unified vision of the individual and the society. Such a vision can begin to set in motion social processes that address the material and spiritual aspects of life in a unified way. Together such processes impel development.

Development, therefore can never be a product that is created outside of a region or a people and then delivered to them. To be effective development can only be envisioned in the context of the participation of people and their institutions, who must consciously tread their own path of individual and social progress.

The Foundation believes that every individual possesses infinite potentialities. The challenge is to see how to translate this potential into reality and provide opportunities for people to meaningfully participate in the process of development. Only an appropriate educational process, which integrates the intellectual, spiritual and social aspects of human culture, can develop and promote man’s potentialities for service to the society. As these potentialities are liberated, institutions and instruments must be perfected or created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.

In light of these considerations, it becomes clear that development cannot be a process of imitating the so-called ‘developed countries' The very emphasis on the material aspects of those cultures has contributed towards the disintegration of the moral fabric of those societies. Such ‘development’ is unworthy of emulation.

Varqa Foundation, aspires to participate in programmes that try to tread new paths of development. These programmes, it is hoped, will be based on the search for a scientifically and technologically advanced society in which educational, economic, administrative and cultural structures are centered on the integral nature of man and not merely on his material aspirations. Development will therefore be assessed in terms of the increasing capacities of both the people and their institutions to address the spiritual and material needs and aspirations of the populations they serve.

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