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                              Newsletter of the Caux Scholars Program             Winter 2014




Many of you are in the midst of events and struggles that the world only reads about. We do hear from some of you in these situations and would like to keep in closer touch if there are ways we could be helpful and encouraging. There may be new ways of interacting. Amaha Selassie (CSP 2013) and Zory Borbulevych (CSP 2011) have a vision of the CSP network becoming more collaborative. They ask, "What skills can we offer each other?" In the coming months, we will be exploring this together.  

Janjarang Kijtikhun (CSP 2010) from Thailand, who has started an NGO focusing on non-violence, writes: "Even I, myself, did not think that we would have come this far. The conflict that started when I joined CSP escalated each year and now we are here... I hope that the government will stop lying to the world and start obeying the law (and let the press do its job). I also hope that people remember that whichever side they agree with, we are still one nation and that we have to build this together."
The 2014 Caux Scholars Reunion (August 8-9) is linked to the International Peace-builders' Forum (August 11-12) in Caux. Both will provide a wonderful opportunity for CSP alumni. You may wish to attend, or better still, become an exhibitor and share the work of your organization at Caux. Perhaps your organization can sponsor you! More information is on the website.
Some of you may be interested in helping to coordinate the IPF. We have applied for a small grant to cover the stay in Caux for this support team. The dates for this group to be in Caux are August 3-13. The application is now on our website. Khalil Ansary (CSP 2010) writes:  "I'm really happy to know about this great opportunity. I have already reserved this week on my calendar. This is really important for me, especially after three consecutive years in Caux I missed its spirit badly in 2013!"

We have extended the CSP 2014 deadline to February 28th. We always value applicants put forward by CSP alumni. Let us know if you have anyone in mind. 

As always, we are working to raise scholarship funds for 2014. Please help us. More information will follow about this year's Alumni Scholarship.

Program Director

From the Academic Director
The state of the peacebuilding field

Carl Stauffer, PhD
Amidst the flurry of media analysis on the current "State of the Union" in the United States, I find myself reflecting on the state of peace in our world. Judging from the continual deluge of media drama covering violence at home and abroad (e.g. wars in Syria, South Sudan, and nonviolent protests in the Ukraine and Thailand), we might be tempted to succumb to despair, feeling like our world is only becoming increasingly chaotic and dangerous to live in. I have been working in the peacebuilding profession since 1991 and when talking to others outside of this discipline, I am often asked, "So, are you accomplishing anything - it certainly doesn't seem like conflict and violence in the world are getting any less?" Once I get over my initial defensiveness to this repeated question, I am mostly able to find a humored response.

Do we question the role of medical personnel because sickness still exists? Or, the function of criminal justice and law enforcement officials because crime still exists? Or, the need for teacher-educators because illiteracy still exists? Or, the effectiveness of development-economics professionals because poverty still exists? Of course we don't. So then, why do we put peacebuilding practitioners under such a test? There are many reasons for this, both practical and political. First, being that peacebuilding is a relatively new field of study and application, many people are not aware of what the concept entails. Second, being that peacebuilding is a highly trans-disciplinary discipline some people perceive it to be a generalist's profession that lacks exacting effectiveness in theory and practice. Third, successful peacebuilding efforts provide an immediate threat to a long established Military-Industrial-Complex that would like to keep its hold over the political-economic means of war.  Read more ...  
Stories from CSP alumni in the field
Reflections on democracy from India

Alex Nuwagaba (CSP 2013) from Uganda was among several Caux Scholar alumni from Africa who joined 150 delegates at the "Making Democracy Real Dialogue" held at the IofC center at Asia Plateau in Panchgani, India. Alex reflects:

As a leader, heading an organization that is working to enable communities in Africa to recognize their inherent power to mobilize for collective change, I was greatly encouraged by the debates and discussions around the conference themes, "Learning from Democracy's Journey."  

(L-R) Alex Nuwagaba (CSP 2013) Uganda, Nelly Njoki (CSP 2010) Kenya, Mercy Shahale (CSP 2013) Kenya, Ali Nur Ali (CSP 1993) Somalia

Questions arose around citizen participation, integrity and leadership and even the very concept of democracy. I have always had issues with democracy mostly because in Africa we seem to fight a lot about democratic governance and the way tribal politics plays out.  Read more ... 

Love of nature and weather updates


Janet Jeruto, (CSP 2012) from Kenya just spent 6 months in Norway. She gained more than some career-broadening encounters, as valuable as they were:

"Norwegians are as cold as the Scandinavian weather." That was the reply that I would most likely get from any person whom I told I was leaving for Norway. I landed in Oslo's Gardermoen Airport mid June 2013 to a blazing summer sun ready for my Peace Corps exchange experience. The next six months I was attached to the Norwegian Church Aid Global Office in the Gender Justice Program. My duties were to learn how the program was being run at the global level besides giving any support needed.

Together with seven colleagues, we organized a three day workshop on the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, the first ever workshop of this kind to bring together representatives from thirteen countries. Our objective was sharing best practices and tools. I met inspiring people like a lady lawyer from Zambia, a mediator between survivors and government agencies working to prevent harassment and their subsequent silencing.

In Kenya, I had mediated cases of survivors of gender based violence and did the follow up at police stations, judiciary, or other Government offices. It was mostly a daunting task because of corruption, culture, and a patriarchal society that is not ready for change. I return home not only with new networks but also new ideas on how to work on Kenya's mediation approach on this important issue.  Read more ...

The answer is both simple and complex
Tamara Hawes (CSP 2013) works in the Dayton office of a Ohio representative to the US Congress. She and Amaha Sellassie (CSP 2013) traveled to Richmond, Virginia, for an IofC training on working towards the Healing of History:

This last November, Hope in the Cities reached a significant milestone of 20 years of service to the Richmond community. In recognition of, and to add to this already important event, we retraced the steps of former slaves: the very same steps that these unfortunate individuals walked as they were first brought into captivity in the U.S. We marked these steps, in part, to add to the healing that is slow in coming to pass and to acknowledge the actions that led to their servitude.

While retracing the steps of slaves and visiting sites significant in Richmond's history were emotionally moving, the discussions that flowed among participants made the most significant impression on me. People were talking from site to site and sharing their thoughts on what had happened, what was happening, and what we could do to eliminate racism and hatred.

Throughout all of these discussions, one thought continued to run through my mind: What gives the human spirit the strength to survive despite being stripped of all humanity? Read more ...

Also read the interview with Amaha Sellassie by Rob Corcoran
CSP 1996: George B. Brown is now the Executive Director of the Colorado African Organization (CAO) in Denver.  CAO provides services to cultivate the education, self-sufficiency, and empowerment of global refugees and immigrants. CSP 1999: Mike Carpenter is still in Oslo, working at with low-carbon energy, providing technical advisory and verification services in connection with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).  CSP 2000: Altaf Makhiawala continues to work with UNICEF in New Delhi, managing donor communications for its largest corporate partnership with the IKEA Foundation that funds programs protecting the rights of children in India. Olivera Ivanovic is an education lecturer at a college for preschool teachers in Bujanovac, South Serbia for the last year. CSP 2003: Adéla Scotkova is on maternity leave with Hana (1¾) and sometimes also with Vaclav (4). In April she will start working part-time as a judge trainee. CSP 2009: Manini Sheker: "I'm completing a MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford.  I'm also writing on global social issues for various NGOs and news outlets including The Guardian. An academic article I published last year on religion, freedom and economic development was awarded the NGO Human Welfare Prize by Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. CSP 2012:  Johannes Langer is learning Spanish in Colombia, but not working with anything related to his field.  CSP 2013: After CSP Xeniya Mironova was an intern with Foundations for Freedom, helping mostly with the project "Healing the Past" in Simferopol, Ukraine. Now Xeniya is in Tajikistan, writing her thesis on the theme "The Analysis of Mass Media and Social Media in Central Asia." She will finish her studies on Human Rights and Democratization this June.  She is Project Manager of a 6-month project,Transforming Public Space into a Public Stage: Theatre of the Oppressed as an Aesthetic Tool for Social Changes. "I'm using contemporary art practices to develop critical communication on socially important issues among young people in Tajikistan."  Sonja Przujl visited the US in December as part of an exchange of ideas among librarians, writers and Corner Directors, who set up cultural programs in various countries. She met an author who led the One Bosnia and Herzegovina, One Book project with students and teachers throughout the country. Nate McPherson is back in Seattle working as an engineer for a Boeing supplier. He is saving money to get his Master's, starting as early as next fall. He writes: "I visited Jordan after CSP last year and fell in love with it... I'm hoping to return soon to work with Syrian refugees. Potentially I will be starting a nonprofit that will assist refugee families in the northern Jordan city of Mafraq. Families there are struggling big time to meet basic needs... and they're being overlooked by larger organizations because they're not in the camps. Starting a nonprofit has been a challenge, but through a sense of prayerful leading, some amazing people have come into my life, who are helping me carry the vision!" Mercy Shahale had the privilege of attending the Caux Initiatives for Business conference November 7-11, 2013, at Asia Plateau in Panchgani, India. "I co-founded and I am currently working on setting up an organization that works with communities to address the social development issues in human security in East Africa. The different messages that came up during this conference profoundly resonated with me and with how I intend to work with communities.  I am keen on creating social contracts based on ethical leadership, having the courage to trade off short term gains for long term value creation."
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.

Thank you!
In this issue
The state of the peacebuilding field
Reflections on democracy from India
Love of nature and weather updates
The answer is both simple and complex
Please help us raise scholarship funds

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Donate online or send checks to our office payable to  
Initiatives of Change  
Caux Conferences 2014

Caux logo

June 30-July 4 
Caux dialogue on land and security

July 5-10 
Trust and integrity in the global economy

July 12-17 
Just governance for human security

July 20-24 
Seeds of inspiration

July 26-August 1 
Children as actors for transforming society

August 3-8  
Living in a multicultural world

August 10-13  
International peace-builder's forum

More information available on the Caux website
Peacebuilding unpacked   
  This short film made by Canadian Tim Hall (CSP 2013) is a great recruiting tool! 
Caux Artists Program

Rachel Eisenstat (CSP 2006) is considering applying.
Caux Initiatives for Business 
Panchgani, India

Pravir Bagrodia (CSP 1992) wrote the report of the Caux Initiatives for Business conference in Panchgani.  Mercy Shahale (CSP 2013) also attended.

Trustbuilding Book Cover

Read author    

Rob Corcoran's latest blog,

The Imam & The Pastor 


"The African model for finding peace amid the continent's warring communities"  

The Times (London)  

AAA flyer image An African Answer 

The second film about

the work of these two  

African peacemakers. 

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.

Visit ourwebsite 
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