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                                   Summer 2016

How would you fully describe the combined emotional, spiritual and educational journey that nineteen young scholars from 18 different countries experienced as a group over four intensive weeks? It's nearly impossible. Yet because of this very experience, each year our Caux Scholars walk away transformed and inspired with new knowledge, love, compassion, and renewed energy to continue making a difference in their home communities.
This year the Caux Scholars Program (CSP) celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Mountain House was abuzz with its usual mass of diverse participants from all corners of the world for the Just Governance for Human Security Conference and everyone was invited to celebrate this special CSP occasion. The program was highlighted throughout the day. The morning session started off with Amos Izerimana, one of this year's scholars, sharing his powerful story of migration from Burundi to the USA as a refugee. He spoke about his efforts to help other refugees in his Kentucky community cope with the drastic and difficult changes in their lives. 

Again, CSP was proudly highlighted when Kristen Weis, a Caux Scholar Alum (CSP 2014) and founder of Roskanet Environmental Company, led an excellent workshop on "Environmental Migration," sharing concerns around sustainable development issues, coastal tourism and preventative responses to potential international security threats related to climate change. 

In the evening the dining room was resplendent in tables set with white tablecloths. Conference participants had the opportunity to speak with CSP scholars, alum and team members, who were at each table to share information about the program and its impact. Susan Corcoran, Director of Communications, IofC USA, spoke of the history of the program and what had inspired its launch back in 1991. After dinner, the program celebration continued at a smaller reception as guests got to know the current CSP scholars and meet the alumni present. A reflection was shared by Bruce Myers (CSP 1992) on how CSP impacted his life and challenged his life choices. The remainder of the evening was spent enjoying a delicious cake, music, dancing and an impromptu talent show. 

It is important to note that at this 25th anniversary year the Caux Scholars Program has now appointed Regional Officers across the globe. Nearly all 20 positions have been filled. The Regional Officers will be instrumental in establishing connections and a more efficient networking process for our alumni. Arranging Regional Reunions is a significant part of the duties of these volunteer coordinators. Providing partnership, career and further scholarship opportunities for our alumni has been a critical goal for the CSP as well as the many ways to engage with the global network that Initiatives of Change offers. We are grateful for the CSP alumni who give back to the program, and all those from Initiatives of Change who have supported us over the years. 
Best wishes,
Anjum Ali, 
IofC USA Board Member

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From the Academic Director
Carl Stauffer with the leadership team past and present.

A call for Just-Peace to prevail

By Carl Stauffer, PhD - Academic Director, Caux Scholars Program
Once again, we in the United States find ourselves caught in the vicious cycles of violence that seemingly leaves us stuck in the places of rage and hopelessness. Once again, we find ourselves thrust into a whirlwind of polarizing rhetoric spewing from the lips of politicians, the media, religious leaders and the affected communities and grieving families alike. Once again, torrents of socio-political narratives attempt to force us to take sides and to declare our allegiances to the moral high ground being claimed by parties on all sides of the violence. Calls for revenge and punishment rail against counter calls for mercy and forgiveness. Calls for truth and justice fight for recognition over calls for peace and order. It seems that the scripts of "justice" and "peace" (values we all long for) are on two ends of the spectrum in our personal and political lives and there is scant hope of ever bringing them together. The ideals of unity and reconciliation appear to be distant horizons on our societal landscape checkered with racial hatred, public division and private pains.

Thankfully, there are voices of calm and reason calling for all of us to step away from the edges of our angst and move to the center of our common humanity. People like Van Jones of CNN who has challenged all Americans to embrace new levels of understanding the "wounds" that we all bear in the midst of shared violence (See: Van Jones video). What we need in the US right now is "just-peace," a term coined by Glen Stassen. The concept of Just-Peace insists that we can satisfy a sense of justice and build peace at the same time. say, how is this possible? For those of us who are committed to justice and peacebuilding we know that peace is not only the absence of war and violence, it is the presence of just relationships and just structures in our society. Yes, this is a long-term view and yes, it will take social architects, advocates, activists, organizers, healers and reconcilers to accomplish the task. Read more
Living peace
25-years of Creators of Peace
By Kathy Aquilina
In 1991 Creators of Peace was launched in Caux, Switzerland. This summer 200 delegates from many of the more than 40 countries where Creators of Peace has a presence, came to explore the ever elusive challenge of actually "Living Peace" and how this can change the global narrative from the current inevitability of violence and despair to one of compassion and hope. The women attending, who came from such countries as Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan, shared powerful stories of overcoming personal and community violence and tragedy to take responsibility for building a better future.

Five Caux Scholar alumni attended. Tata Mbugua, Ph.D. (CSP 1992) from Kenya and USA, was honored as a Founding Mother of Creators of Peace, working to build the vision with the originator and former Parliamentarian, The Honorable Anna Msekwa from Tanzania. The most recent alum of the five was Jini Agrawal (CSP 2015) from Nepal. Both Tata and Jini of them have shared their impressions of this celebration. The other Caux Scholar alumni present were Clementine Lue Clark (CSP 2002) who bases in Geneva and gave conference support, Asiya Mohammed (CSP 2006) who ran a workshop on becoming a social entrepreneur and Nelly Njoki (CSP 2010), who participated as part of the Creators of Peace Kenyan delegation.

Tata and her daughter Noni
Tata Mbugua has been a professor of education at the University of Scranton in the United States for the past 17 years. Her focus remains a triad: a) preparing teachers for culturally responsive teaching with a genuine compassion and sincere care for others, b) encouraging them to use the gift of their profession to advocate for young children's education and their families, and c) fostering in them a keen interest in society's poor and marginalized populations, as a human right and a social justice issue. Her research agenda includes the educational and psycho-social needs of HIV/AIDs orphans in Kenya. For the past 12 years she has been travelling to Kenya with her graduate students from the University of Scranton to share with them the spirit of caring and giving while learning in our global community. She writes:

"It was humbling to be 'bestowed' the honor of a Founding Mother of Creators of Peace, since this was not anywhere on the radar in 1991, when I joined the team to brainstorm and champion the role of women as peacemakers under the guidance of the Honorable 'Mama' Msekwa. The following year I joined other scholars for the Caux Scholar's Program.  

"These two experiences have had a tremendous impact on my personal and professional growth and especially on my choice of work and service in our global community. I invited Rajmohan Gandhi, biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and former president of Initiatives of Change International, to give a lecture at the University of Scranton to over 600 people. I traveled to Nepal, Slovakia, and Turkey with a theme of peace for our highly diverse, interconnected, and interdependent global community. I remain committed to imbue my students, friends, family, and colleagues with the spirit of being of service to humanity and especially in advancing a purpose for living, using all our gifts, including our professions, to advance peaceable coexistence so that the God-given potential in each person can flourish.

"Being in Caux this summer was rejuvenating and inspiring and brought the idea full circle - a culminating reflection and experience that brought to the fore the importance of counting my blessings and reflecting on vital philosophical questions of who I was, who I am and what my purpose in life is. Being in Caux with my daughter Noni and other family members in 2016 was indeed God's design. It is God who has the next grand design for all of us for the next 25 years and beyond. As for me, I remain humbled with an open mind and heart to serve humanity using my gifts and talents for as long as I live!"

Jini Agrawal has been leading the organization "Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief" in Nepal. She writes:

Jini on the platform at Caux
"This is my first experience with Creators of Peace and being in the organizing committee of the conference has helped me begin to understand what living peace is.

"During the conference, I was inspired by delegates who shared their personal stories of 'living peace' with head, heart and hands and living peace by forgiveness. I personally realized that choosing to 'live peace' is a tough thing to do, and is a daily commitment and continuous journey, whether it be practicing peace within or making peace in a society that has visible and invisible conflicts." Read more
Let Girls Learn
Inclusive development 
Krista Rigalo served as the Program Director for the Caux Scholars Program from 2004-2005. Krista counts her time in Caux as an important transition point from having served 14 years in various countries in Africa in development and humanitarian roles and her subsequent doctoral studies and work in the US. She cherishes her time in Caux as a reminder that empowering, compassionate community is possible. 
Here's a rather daunting statistic: 62 million girls are not in school. And for those that are, they often face constraints and obstacles unique to their gender for remaining in school and transitioning to full participation in social, political and economic life as an adult. This circumscribing of girls' lives is unfortunately a global issue. Even in so-called developed countries, girls struggle with mixed messages about their value, worth, and potential. And yet we know that when a girl is educated, the development benefits are multi-fold. Educated girls get married later, have better spacing between their children, and reduced incidence of under-five child mortality. Their families have better nutritional status and their children are much more likely to get an education as well. An educated woman stands to earn 10% more income for each year of secondary school completed. Countries with greater degree of women educated have higher rates of agricultural production and GDPs. In short, educating girls is the closest thing we've got to a silver bullet in development. 

In March 2015, the First Lady Michelle Obama launched a powerful whole-of-government initiative entitled Let Girls Learn, inviting US government agencies to join their programming efforts to synergistically address this problem. The Peace Corps is one of the lead agencies helping to implement Let Girls Learn. With over 7000 Volunteers in the field in 65 countries around the world, as well as an alumni base of over 220,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, the Peace Corps is uniquely placed to accompany communities in their development efforts. Upon the request of communities and organizations, Peace Corps Volunteers live at the level of the people served, assisting with capacity building and behavior change interventions. As welcomed and integrated members of communities, Peace Corps Volunteers build lasting relationships of trust that endure beyond their two years of service. We ask that our Volunteers carry their service home, educating Americans about the lives, dreams, and aspirations of their adopted community members. 

Through Let Girls Learn, we are working with teachers, parents, community leaders, and girls themselves to build the skills and capacities needed to help girls thrive. Volunteers work with communities to identify and address constraints and obstacles to girls' education, which could be anything from the lack of safe and discreet latrines and bathrooms for girls, to the lack of school fees, to transportation and safety issues. We run girls' empowerment Camps, Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), as well as girls' clubs where the leadership and life skills created in the camp setting can continue to be nurtured and supported. We know that girls do not live in a vacuum and so actively include working with men and boys in our programs, everything from promoting positive masculinities in boys' camps and clubs to holding programs for fathers and uncles to create support and ambition for girls and young women. We currently have Volunteers in 35 country programs participating; their enthusiasm for this work is boundless and inspiring. Read more
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!
Kathy Aquilina 
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CSP Alumni Report from the field
Life in Gaza
By Amal Abu Shawareb (CSP 2002)

It is very difficult to call being in Gaza as being alive. I found it very challenging to write about my life here without having to mention difficulties, challenges and hardships. In any part of the world, rising up children is never easy but in Gaza it is much more complicated due to the inhumane circumstances that were imposed on Gazan's life since the beginning of the blockade.

I am a Palestinian mother, who has been living in Gaza all my life and I have witnessed all the atrocities that people in Gaza have to live through. The injustice of man-made disaster is worse than any other disaster.

The best way to portray life in Gaza is through the eyes of the children who was been born and have been deprived from a normal childhood. I have been gifted three beautiful boys: 9-year-old twins, Mohammed and Amir and 7-year-old Adam. I have been through very difficult challenges in raising them up and the biggest one is how to teach them not to hate despite the fact that they do not enjoy their rights as children. They cannot enjoy playing video games or watching TV as the electricity is off most of the time.

They have been dreaming of travelling and visiting countries that they read about, but as long as the blockade is there it will only be just a dream. I can't even allow them to swim in the sea, which is only 2kms from where we live, because it is polluted with sewage due to the restrictions on bringing materials into Gaza. However, I am always keen that they grow-up as normal persons without hatred and without feeling deprived. Read more
Obama brings hope to our country
By Ha Nguyen (CSP 2007)

Two months have passed since the 3-day visit of President Obama to Vietnam from May 23-25 but if you google "Obama's visit to Vietnam in Vietnamese", for only 0.58 seconds, you receive 581,000 results. Indeed, every minute of his visit to Vietnam was covered by the media.

Roads were block for hours and people were waiting patiently to greet him. My office was closed few hours because it was located on the side-street where Obama's limousine passed by on the way to visit the pagoda. Works were interrupted in some offices and thousands of people gathered along the street. I joined the crowd and enjoyed listening to random conversations about his dinner with Anthony Bourdain, a famous chef and food critic at a street side restaurant which only cost $6; about his remarks addressing to the people of Vietnam, which won the hearts of the people by citing Vietnamese literature; about how they felt proud to witness such a historical moment that came once in a lifetime.

There was one video that went viral in most online social networks about a phone conversation when a husband with his speaker on, saying loudly that he could not pick up his daughter because he was busy standing in the crowd to welcome President Obama. Well, he would have to wait for several hours! Read more
Mosques and churches turn yellow in Kenya
By Nabila Alibha (CSP 2003)

Nabila Alibhai recently had a prestigious fellowship at MIT and is the founder of inCOMMONS, an organization that combines best practices in peace-building, civic engagement and public space design. inCOMMONS' latest project is Colour in Faith, a public art installation that is creating a movement toward religious pluralism in Kenya. She writes:

Quite simply communities of faith have come together to paint one another's houses of worship yellow in the name of love and common humanity.
This is in reaction to a global context where religion is being hijacked to justify destructive actions and where moderate communities struggle to create networks of good. So far three buildings, two churches and one mosque, have been painted in Nairobi. Three buildings on the coastal town of Mombasa will follow shortly. The movement has begun in Kenya in the hopes that it will spread to other countries in the world.

The artist behind the project is Yazmany Arboleda, who is a founder of limeSHIFT, a US-based company that uses art to make communities - private and public - their most creative, productive and connected. Yazmany and I met in Afghanistan where we began to partner on projects that use social practice art to complement community building in a unique and powerful way; helping communicate, relate, invent, organize and build confidence.  Read more

Caux Scholars at the raining
Caux Scholars
is a program of 
Initiatives of Change (IofC)
A diverse global network with an 80-year track record of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and forging partnerships across divides of race, class, religion and politics.  
Our vision
We inspire a vision of community where a commitment to reconciliation and justice transcends competing identities and interests.
Our mission
We equip leaders to build trust in diverse communities through a process of personal change, inclusive dialogue, healing historical conflict and teambuilding
Our focus
We connect core values with personal and public action with a focus on racial reconciliation, economic inclusion and interfaith understanding.
For more information 
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