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:

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Yara Zgheib round black&white

'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.'

 

Read the full story here

 


2002: Erika Utzinger - 200 metres of history

The archives of the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre, now held by the Canton of Vaud, are an endless source of precious information. Swiss archivist Eliane Stallybrass describes the work to preserve...
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2002: Erika Utzinger - 200 metres of history

2001: Cornelio Sommaruga - ‘Grüss Gott’

'I first met Cornelio Sommaruga at a private dinner party. He was then head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and was just back from Cuba, where he’d met with Fidel Castro, in the...
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2001: Cornelio Sommaruga - ‘Grüss Gott’

2000: Angela Starovoytova and Kostiantyn Ploskyi – Taking off the masks

Around the turn of the Millennium, many young Ukrainians came to Caux. Some of them took leadership in Foundations for Freedom (F4F), a programme for young people which offered courses in the values w...
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2000: Angela Starovoytova and Kostiantyn Ploskyi – Taking off the masks

1999: Gente Que Avanza – Latin America hits town

It was a Red-Letter Day in July 1999 when more than 40 young Latin Americans burst through the front door of Mountain House, Caux, and hugged everyone in sight. Gente Que Avanza had arrived – and Caux...
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1999: Gente Que Avanza – Latin America hits town

1998: Ningali Cullen – Journey of Healing

When Ningali Cullen came to Caux in 1998, she brought news of a growing people’s movement in Australia to acknowledge the truth about their history.
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1998: Ningali Cullen – Journey of Healing

1997: The Māori Queen – ‘Our people are moving forward’

She was a queen with the vision of a better future for her people. Discover the story of Māori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and her visit to Caux.
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1997: The Māori Queen – ‘Our people are moving forward’

1996: Cardinal Franz König - 'On each visit I learn something new'

One of the enduring images of the 50th anniversary of the Initiatives of Change conference centre in 1996 is that of the Dalai Lama greeting the 90-year-old Cardinal Franz König.
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1996: Cardinal Franz König - 'On each visit I learn something new'

1995: Marta Dąbrowska – ‘Summer comes and Caux comes’

In the early 1990s, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, large numbers of Eastern and Central Europeans came to the Initiatives of Change (IofC) conferences in Caux. Many, like Marta Dąbrowska from Pola...
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1995: Marta Dąbrowska – ‘Summer comes and Caux comes’

1994: The Caux Round Table – Principles for Business

In July 1994, a set of Principles for Business was launched at Caux by the Caux Round Table (CRT), an international forum of business leaders which had been meeting there since 1986.
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1994: The Caux Round Table – Principles for Business

1993: Somalia – ‘If you can have peace in Galkayo, you can have it anywhere’

Among the Somalis at Caux in 1993 were Hassan Mohamud and Ahmed Egal, both from Galkayo, one of Somalia’s most violent cities. At Caux in 1993, together with other Somalis, they drew up a list of pote...
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1993: Somalia – ‘If you can have peace in Galkayo, you can have it anywhere’

1992: Hope in the Cities – 'Where healing can take place'

In July 1992, 80 Americans arrived at the Initiatives of Change Switzerland conference centre in Caux with an urgent question: how to address racism, poverty and alienation in US cities. Three months ...
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1992: Hope in the Cities – 'Where healing can take place'

1991: Anna Abdallah Msekwa – Creators of Peace

The 680 women – and some men – who packed the Main Hall of the Caux Palace for the launch of Creators of Peace 30 years ago came from 62 countries and a mind-boggling variety of backgrounds: a Mohawk ...
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1991: Anna Abdallah Msekwa – Creators of Peace

1990: King Michael of Romania – ‘Evil cannot last indefinitely’

In the summer of 1990, six months after the overthrow of Communism in their country, 30 young Romanians came to Caux. It was their first time outside the Eastern bloc, and they had been hesitant about...
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1990: King Michael of Romania – ‘Evil cannot last indefinitely’
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