Bahá’í efforts on social action seek to promote the social and material well-being of people from all walks of life, whatever their beliefs or background. Such efforts are motivated by the desire to serve humanity and contribute to constructive social change. Together they represent a growing process of learning concerned with the application of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, along with knowledge accumulated in different fields of human endeavour, to social reality. In such cases, a non-profit, non-governmental organization may be established by a group of Bahá’ís, often with like-minded colleagues, to address one or another issue of social and economic development. Operating on the principles of the Bahá’í Faith, it is generally called a “Bahá’í-inspired organization”. It provides institutional capacity in a country or region to deal with the generation, application and diffusion of knowledge about development. Typically, such an organization will begin with one primary line of action and will allow its efforts to increase in complexity over time. For Bahá’ís, social action is pursued with the conviction that every population should be able to trace the path of its own progress. Social change is not a project that one group of people carries out for the benefit of another.
In the Philippines, one Bahá’í-inspired organization, the Dawnbreakers Foundation, Inc., has devised well-defined programmes, particularly in the field of education.
Supporting the organization’s initiatives and efforts to better society is the flow of guidance and assistance from local, national and international Bahá’í institutions. They likewise benefit from the experiences and learning of a network of other national communities similarly engaged.
The experiences in aforementioned service endeavours have contributed to raising the communities’ capacity to go further in different undertakings, particularly the educational imperative.
One instance is the collaboration with certain indigenous communities located too far from public schools for their young children to go to. They meet and consult with the elders and parents about the educational needs of their children and help raise local teachers should the community wish to establish a community school.
Currently, there are eleven community schools among indigenous communities in Philippines, catering to the needs of over 160 students.