Eleven Caux Scholar alum and two of the incoming class gathered in Washington, DC, for a fundraiser hosted by Don King at the McGuire Woods law offices. For many of the 60 guests it was their first introduction to the Caux Scholars Program. It was exciting to share with them the impact of the program and what we are hoping for this year.
Through the event we raised more than $11,000 for this year's scholarship fund. With the $9,731 raised through Indiegogo and matching funds we are getting close to our target figure. Only another $10,000 to go! Thank you to all who have participated. We are happy to receive any further donations through the website or checks (made payable to Initiatives of change) sent to our office.
We are looking forward to welcoming the new class of 2013 to Caux this summer. Twenty four scholars from 19 countries will arrive at Caux on June 26th. Some are still waiting for visas, but most have their flights booked. They will bring their stories, experience, expertise and sense of hope to Caux. I am looking forward to sharing their experiences with you in the upcoming months.
We are pleased that Johannes Langer (CSP 2012) will return as our program coordinator. He writes: "Last year's experience 'on the mountain' with 18 other scholars from around the globe shaped my outlook on the world in a new dimension." Read more of what he writes
We thank Winnie Arthur (CSP 2012) for the help she gave in editing this issue of Cauxmunique. We hope you enjoy reading these stories.
Wishing you all the best for the summer,
From the Academic Director
CSP as transformative space
We love to talk about the "magic" of transformation that seems to inevitably occur at the Caux Scholars Program (CSP) as scholars from across the world come together to form a learning community. However, our explanative language of this change process often seems to morph into an ethereal narrative about spiritual connections, intuitive emotions, or visceral feelings that only seem to make sense at a subconscious level.
Carl Stauffer, PhD
So what makes CSP a transformative space? Is it the breath-taking views from the elegant location of the Palace Hotel perched on precipices of the Swiss Alps overlooking Lake Geneva? Is it the community synergy that happens when 20 scholars from different cultures come to live and learn together in one place? Or is it the networking and connections that occur when world leaders come together to dialogue, serve and inspire each other?
This issue of Cauxmunique focuses on Africa. We are very proud of our alumni and know that you will enjoy reading these articles about their work in Kenya, South Africa, Liberia and the DRC.
Two other young Kenyans Ednah Kang'ee (CSP 2011), and Janet Jeruto (CSP 2012) write about training thousands in peacebuilding during Kenya's pre-election period.
Preventing election violence
Nelly Njoki (CSP 2010), from Kenya, writes about inter-ethnic dialogue among youth in Nairobi.
Read more ...
One of the notable features of Nairobi's informal settlements is the wide multi-ethnic base of the residents who come from different parts of the country in search of livelihood. Against the backdrop of abject poverty and deplorable living conditions, social- economic based conflicts are inevitable in these settlements. The settlements which cover less than 1% of Nairobi's area, host about 65% of the capital city's population thus providing a fertile hunting ground for votes. The economic vulnerability of the youth makes it easy for them to be manipulated by the political elite who at a fee will incite the youth to cause violence along ethnic lines.
Community Education and Empowerment Centre (CEEC), the Kenyan NGO that I work for, knew that preventing electoral violence in Kenya had to begin in Nairobi's informal settlements. We developed a project that included training on conflict transformation and through topics such as understanding the self, forgiveness, trust building, reconciliation, mediation and nonviolence. The youth reflected on the activities of post-election violence and how the losses they encountered, both in terms of material and personal lives, should not be repeated.
Bringing out the common values and identity of the urban youth in the informal settlements, regardless of the ethnic background prompted a resolve to promote peace. Through inter-ethnic dialogue and traveling theaters, the youth hit the ground running, knocking on all doors and speaking to all who cared to listen. The clarion call was: "One Nation, One Tribe, One Blood, Change starts with me." And, "We are one tribe, the Kenyan tribe." Communities were urged to vote peacefully.
Answers often come from within
Amber Breitenberg (CSP 2012), from the USA, spent three months in Cape Town, South Africa.
I was working with an urban agriculture and environmental action organization called Abalimi Bezekhaya (Farmers of Home). The organization works with individuals and communities in several Cape Town "townships" to provide them with the skills and knowledge to grow their own food in small home gardens or in large community farms, where the excess vegetables can be sold for profit. I came into the organization as an outsider, a volunteer, a "do-gooder" from a wealthy Western country ready to solve all of their problems, and I left with a realization.
Too often this is the story in many developing countries. A flow of volunteers, journalists, development workers, students and "do-gooders" swoop in with all the answers and the drive to make a change, but many leave just as quickly with only a memory of themselves left behind. I don't want to be that person. So I won't tell you what I gave to South Africa, but rather I will tell you how my experience in South Africa, along with many helpful lessons along the way, has helped change me. Read more ...
A legacy for future generations
Emma Khakula (CSP 2006) writes about her involvement with resettling refugees fleeing conflict in different parts of Africa:
My desire to find answers to the issues that face humanity brought me to Caux in the summer of 2006. After a month I left the mountain equipped with an awesome network of people, and the knowledge to set me along my quest to make the world a better place. But to be honest, I wondered if I would be able to find my niche and make a difference...
In August 2008, I began a journey of working in the biggest Refugee Camp - Dadaab Refugee Camp - home to over 450,000 Somali Refugees. I worked for IOM Dadaab in Operations, and was responsible for the resettlement of refugees to third countries (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, UK and Norway). In this kind of work, you cannot save everyone; the processes and procedures for resettlement are long, but in the end, when families get on those planes to a new life, one feels great satisfaction knowing that something has been done to change a life...
2012 took me to Liberia a country that was torn by years of internal conflict starting in 1989. That year saw the end of the Liberian refugee status (Cessation Clause) and I came to Liberia to head operations for arrival assistance for returning Liberians from Ghana and the ECOWAS region. This was an amazing 9 month operation, that saw many Liberians return home after years of asylum. Read more ...
Creating a new story
Harper McConnell (CSP 2005) from the USA writes of her experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo:
One year after Caux, I found myself in the Democratic Republic of Congo through a variety of serendipitous events. Seven years later, I am still here.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country surviving through history's most brutal record of colonization, dictatorship and war. A nation of dichotomies, the DRC is endowed with natural resources including minerals, oil, agriculture and hydroelectric power to potentially serve all of Sub-Saharan Africa, yet the country has been subject to war and instability since 1994.
I worked with an extraordinary Congolese medical organization for three years that pioneers locally led quality healthcare at the tertiary reference level as well as community-based rural healthcare.Read more
CSP 1991: Pravir Bagrodia - I am a content editor based in Bangalore, where I edit copies for newspapers, journals, manuals and books. I support ethical and ecological initiatives across India. It has been 21 summers since CSP, but memories are so fresh as if Caux happened yesterday. Ana Maria Garcia is a hydrologist at the USGS North Carolina Water Science Center "Just this morning I thought that I should make 'going back to the mountain' a priority! My passion is the environment and environmental protection...I am now married seven years and my husband Shaun and I devote much of our time to 'local' projects in sustainability (community gardens and urban cycling mostly) here in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. We also travel quite a bit and just returned from a trip to Guatemala. I hope all is wonderful with the rest of the Caux 1991 scholars. CSP 1995: Nithi Nesadurai "I traveled to Thailand (November), Cambodia (February) and Korea (March) to conduct capacity building programs for Chevening Alumni Associations in these countries. (The Chevening Scholarship is the UK equivalent of the Fulbright Scholarship and Nithi is President of Chevening Alumni Malaysia.) I will conduct the program in London in July before traveling to other countries in South East Asia and China for the same purpose." CSP 1996: Patrick McNamara has a busy summer ahead. His daughter Ilana will celebrate her bat mitzvah. Afterwards, he is heading back to Caux to be part of the Healing History conference followed by the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security
. Patrick will teach Social Entrepreneurship and guest lecture on Conflict Management in India. He will then fly to Pakistan where he will interact with students and faculty at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad. This partnership between the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where Patrick teaches, and Quaid-i-Azam, grows out of a U.S. Department of State grant to the two universities to promote civic participation and "public diplomacy." CSP 1999: Paula Gabriela Freitas is working hard on the upcoming Confed Cup in Brazil. Her parents are visiting! Ibrahim Natil "I recently received approval to run an exchange program in Belgium from June 28 until July 7. I'll lead a youth group from Palestine to join delegates from Jordan and Malta in Belgium. The delegates will discuss different ideas, experiences and success stories of citizenship and equality. I hope that I will make it next year to Caux." CSP 2000: Ori Golan "You may be interested in my latest article, written for The Pink Breakfast. Regards from down under. Olivera Ivanovic "I am working in Bujanovac at Colledge for preschool teachers, teaching education. It is a part of former Pristina University but it is not in Kosovo, it is in south Serbia 40 km from the administrative border. So I am University professor now. Still living in Belgrade but traveling every week." Daniela DeBono "I am still working at Malmo University as a Senior Lecturer in International Migration and Ethnic Relations. I teach contemporary global migration and human rights, migration in Europe, refugee and asylum issues and I just finished teaching a course on citizenship issues. I am also struggling to keep my research going, but I have finalized a few reports and articles this year. This summer I will focus on continuing my research on irregular migration issues in Malta and the Mediterranean, and will also start investigating irregular migration in Sweden. I am now seeing in practice what southern European countries can learn from the Swedish model. CSP 2001: Fabi Benavente "I got married last year on Sept 15th to a wonderful Belgian man and am now based in Belgium, but visiting Mexico regularly. I am still a member of IofC-International Council. Debu Gandhi married Sandra Snabb on May 11th in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ian Ralby is Executive Director of I.R. Consilium. "we work with clients interested in reducing insecurity; we offer training at all levels - from management to operations. Simply put, we provide counsel and aid throughout the world. Should you have any questions as to whether we might be able to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us. Grant Rissler recently finished the first year of a PhD program in Public Policy and Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. In October he was honored to be recognized by his alma mater, Goshen (IN) College, with the 2012 Decade of Servant Leadership Award. Grant also was happy to complete two marathons last fall. CSP 2002: Rev. Ryan Whitley was appointed to be the representative of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania to the Religious Leaders Council Administrative Group of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia. CSP 2003: Abdujalil Abdurasulov wrote this article for BBC News. Kathryn Williams: "I am now living in Portland, Maine. I am working on a new book, and started a small book packaging company with my former boss, which has also kept me busy. All is well! My website" CSP 2004: Genevieve LeBaron After completing her postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia (Canada), Genevieve will join the University of Sheffield (UK) as Vice Chancellor's Fellow in Politics in October 2013. CSP 2006: Jon Davidow: "I'm an Impact Strategist, in that I work with early-stage companies to strategize how their social impact can drive their project from concept to execution. One project that may be of interest to you, for instance, is a platform that provides entrepreneurs access to mentor networks, which we're strategically driving through entrepreneurs from underserved communities who need that access the most. It's all very fun, creative work that I'm lucky to be doing." CSP 2007: Daniya Baisubanova graduated from the Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame. CSP 2009: Marcia Lee "I run a volunteer program called Cap Corps Midwest. We are still looking for volunteers, people who are U.S. citizens, over 21, with a college degree or a number of years of experience. We have placements open in Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Nicaragua! I am working on starting a Restorative Justice Center in Detroit to support people in finding alternatives to punishment in resolving conflicts and support people working and living in non-violent ways." CSP 2010: Janjarang Kijtikhun will be setting up an NGO in Southeast Asia called the Non Violence Project(NVP). "It is an amazing organization that is educating youth in non-violence education to make this world a less violent place. They have educated more than 6 million people in the past 20 years." Katie Lance is going to the University of Notre Dame in the fall to start her PhD in Psychology and Peace Studies. CSP 2012: Sai Thiha was accepted to Claremont Graduate University for MA Economics program, Global Commerce and Finance. Amber Breitenberg has a new blog for DC on the local food movement and food security.
|We hope you enjoyed this issue of Cauxmunique.
Please share this newsletter with your friends and forward it to those you know have a passion for peacebuilding.
Please help us raise scholarship funds
We need an additional $10,000.
Donate online or send checks to our office payable to
Caux Conferences 2013
Exploring the personal qualities needed for effective governance and structures which promote integrity and cooperation
June 29-July 3
Overcoming racism, seeking equity, building community
Dialogue on land and security
Share experience and build partnerships in restoring land, lives and peace.
Trust and integrity in the global economy Toward economic justice and environmental stability
July 24-30 Children as actors in transforming society
The role of children and youth as active citizens
August 1-6 Learning to live in a multicultural world
Imagining and co-creating a desired future in Europe through intergenerational and intercultural dialogue
August 7-12 Seeds of inspiration
People sharing the inspiration that shaped their lives
More information available on the Caux website
Meet the Class of 2013
Ihab Abdulrazig Abdallah, Sudan - Coming from a country that has experienced civil war since 1955, Ihab hopes that CSP will help him create a global network and increase awareness in his community about how to deal with traumatized societies and transitional justice.
Rashad Aliyev, Azerbaijan - Rashad's desire is to change the status quo and engage in real conflict transformation to overcome stereotypes and nationalistic propaganda in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Anush Arakelyan, Armenia - Anush hopes CSP will give her the skills and connections to bring this message to her country, her region, and the world.
Vanessa Bassil, Lebanon
Vanessa wants to empower young Lebanese journalists to build peace through their writing and reporting.
Hany Mohamed Abdala Mahmoud El Halawany, Egypt - Hany hopes that CSP will strengthen his skills in transitional justice and healing the past so that he can contribute to building a lasting democratic peace in Egypt.
Maria Glenna, Norway
Maria has worked for the Norwegian Red Cross Youth and Amnesty International. With CSP she hopes to work on reconciliation and transitional justice.
Lamiya Guliyeva, Azerbaijan - Lamiya says CSP will "give me the chance to step outside the limits of the conflict I am particularly involved in and to listen to other stories coming from different corners of the world."
Tim Hall, Canada - Timothy wants to be part of CSP "because I desire to learn the theoretical and practical dimensions of peacebuilding."
Huynh Thi Bich Hanh, Vietnam - Huynh believes that changing the world starts with individuals, and that small actions can create extraordinary differences.
Tamara Hawes, USA
Tamara taught Political Science and International Politics for five years at Wright State University and the University of West Florida for four years prior to moving to her current position with Congressman Turner.
Laurin Hodge, USA - Laurin looks forward to discovering tools through CSP that can encourage reconciliation and healing when citizens return to their communities post incarceration.
Mark Kennedy, USA - Mark plans to pursue a career with the U.S. government or an international organization to strengthen transitional justice mechanisms.
Catherine Mbenge, Kenya
Catherine wants to be a part of CSP to develop a deeper insight on practical ways to promote intercultural understanding, respect, and appreciation for diversity.
Nate McPherson, USA
Nate is excited about the opportunity to glean more practical understanding and formal training, to expand his worldview and learn from the individuals that make up this diverse class.
Xenia Mironova, Tajikistan - Xenia wants to help to improve the situation of human rights in her war-torn country and hopes that CSP will help her build trust among the conflicted parties in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Alex Nuwabaga, Uganda
Alex sees CSP as an opportunity to learn more about human security and peacebuilding and to hear what others are doing to build peace across their communities.
Chochanmyei Oo ("Cho"), Myanmar/Burma - Cho hopes that economic empowerment and cultural education can overcome relationship abuses and sexual violence in her country.
Sonja Przulj, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Sonja's motivation to participate in CSP is to attain a multi-cultural learning experience that will allow her "to initiate new peace and conflict resolution ideas and implement them through programs in my local community."
Elin Roos, Sweden - Elin's career goal is to determine "how people can live happier and healthier together."
Diana Salman, Lebanon
Diana is thrilled to join CSP 2013 where she hopes to acquire practical experience that she can carry with her in her future endeavors and to make lasting friendships with active young leaders from around the world.
Elina Sarkisian, Syria - Elina hopes that CSP will help her to "actively contribute towards peacebuilding in my community and my country, Syria, which is currently very much in need of peace."
Amaha Selassie, USA Amaha is committed to "trustbuilding, deliberative dialogue, restorative justice, and social healing in order to heal historical wounds and move forward with mutual understanding."
Mercy Shalale, Kenya - Mercy has been a Peace Monitor for UNDP and has helped build community peace committees in her area.
Sonam Yangzom, Tibet
Sonam hopes that she will gain the skills, experience, and network through CSP that will be necessary to work toward a just resolution of the strife that has scarred her homeland.
Rob Corcoran's latest blog,
The Imam & The Pastor
"The African model for finding peace amid the continent's warring communities"
The Times (London)
An African Answer
The second film about
the work of these two
Caux Scholars is a program of
Initiatives of Change
IofC USA focuses on the link between personal and global change and seeks to inspire, equip, and engage individuals as peacemakers and trustbuilders.
It starts with listening and responding to the still small voice within, applying values of integrity to everyday living, and taking risks to bridge divides.