75 Years of Stories
As we launch a series of 75 stories, celebrating 75th anniversary of Initiatives of Change in Caux, Yara Zgheib from Lebanon reflects on this special place at the heart of Swiss Alps which has changed lives of many people from all over world:
'I stepped off the mountain train with a heavy blue suitcase; I was angry and tired and grieving. I was 21 and had lost so much. I had not had lunch, or much sleep. I had no expectations. A stranger took me to an empty dining hall and offered me a sandwich.
I found myself suspended between the blues of lake and sky. I spent the rest of the month serving meals to hundreds of people. I also dined with rebels, musicians, students, activists, coffee bean farmers, priests, sheikhs and a former Vice-President of her country. I folded linen, washed plates. For the first time in my life, I was quiet.
But my story is not special, or mine. It belongs to this conference centre. It is 75 years long and contains hundreds of thousands of train rides, walks, talks, teas, conversations, and quiet moments of giant transformation.'
2021: Initiatives of Change Switzerland – Opening Caux’s doors to a new chapterAs our series of 75 stories for 75 years of the Initiatives of Change conference centre in Caux draws to an end, the President of Initiatives of Change Switzerland, Christine Beerli, and its two Co-Di... Read More
2020: Aad Burger – Struck by a virusIn 2020, the Caux Forum went online in response to the pandemic. Its organizers found that this made Caux accessible to people all over the world who could not have taken part in normal circumstances.... Read More
2019: Marc Isserles – ‘We must save the children’During World War II, the Caux Palace (later the Initiatives of Change conference centre in Switerland) provided a refuge for Jews fleeing the Shoah. Over the years, some of them – or their descendants... Read More
2018: Wael Boubaker – ‘Climate change should be top top top priority’When Tunisian economics graduate Wael Boubaker joined the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP) in 2018, he expected a conference which would look good on his CV, and some beautiful scenery. Inst... Read More
2017: Tanaka Mhunduru – A home for the worldTanaka Mhunduru from Zimbabwe is one of the organizers of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP), a one-month programme for young people from around the world. He first took part in 2017. Read More
2016: Diana Damsa – ‘It made me feel I counted’The Winter Gathering of 2016 was a special experience for Diana Damsa – not just because she experienced Caux in winter, but also because, for the first time in eight years, she had no responsibilitie... Read More
2015: Lisbeth Lasserre – ‘The richness in art’Lisbeth Lasserre came from Winterthur, where her grandparents, Hedy and Arthur Hahnloser, had built up a private collection of art at their home, Villa Flora. Amongst their artist friends were Bonnard... Read More
2014: Catherine Guisan – Europe’s Unfinished BusinessCatherine Guisan is Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA. She has written two books on the ethical foundations of European integration. In 2014 she spoke at Caux’s first se... Read More
2013: Tom Duncan – Restoring a healthy planet2013 saw the first full-length Caux Dialogues on Land and Security (CDLS). These events, which took place at the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre, focus on the links between sustainable land managem... Read More
2012: Merel Rumping – Going out on a limbWhen Merel Rumping from the Netherlands first visited Caux in 2012, she had a goal in mind – ‘to explore how I could contribute to a more just world through my professional activities’. Read More
2011: Lucette Schneider – Choices which make the magic of CauxFor many years, Lucette Schneider from Switzerland organized the team which gathered in the early mornings to wash, peel and chop vegetables for the kitchens of the Caux conference centre. Read More
2010: Mohan Bhagwandas – Addressing the crisis of integrityMohan Bhagwandas is all too aware of his carbon footprint. In the 13 years from 2006 to 2019, he flew 17 times from his home city of Melbourne, Australia, to Switzerland to take part in the Caux confe... Read More
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