From the Personal to the Global - Experiences of Peace from Passionate Young Leaders

Geneva Peace Week 2021

02 November 2021

11:00 - 12:30 CET


This workshop is an opportunity for participants to meet and interact with young changemakers from around the world.

The event is organized by IofC Switzerland's Caux Peace and Leadership Programme and PeaceTalks as part of the Geneva Peace Week 2021.

We will welcome 5 young speakers from different backgrounds to tell their story and share their experiences of change. It is a chance to meet the person behind the leader and to engage with them.

Most of the session will be spent in breakout rooms with a moderator and a speaker where everyone will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas and perspectives. This is a transformational experience and it shows the power of story-telling.





Maria del Pilar Aristizabal

Maria del Pilar (Colombia)

Founder of Life Academy

Maria del Pilar Aristizabal (27) is a young Colombian woman who is passionate about the human journey and dancing. Her mission is to fight against suicide in young people in her home city, Manizales that has the highest rate of suicide in Colombia. Maria's work is focused on empowering young people through Life Academy, her social enterprise, which delivers leadership workshops to prevent suicide and premature deaths. Life Academy was identified as a social initiative with high impact in the world by Columbia Univerity in the US. After a series of 12 workshops delivered during one semester at a school with the highest suicide rates, Maria's initiative was successful in bringing down this rate by 91%. Today, Maria is a Chevening Scholar in London where she is linking her experience to those with similar passion in Europe.


Batol Gholami

Batol Gholami (Afghanistan)

Student and Founder of AYLA

Batol Gholami is a woman & social activist and the founder of the Afghanistan Youth Leaders Assembly (AYLA). She was selected champion of United People Global in the United State of America for a leadership program and is a member of various national and international organisations which are working for women and youth empowerment.

She explains: 'I have always been passionate about how to become a charismatic leader. When I was a child in my village in Baghlan, I saw my father, who was my role model in leadership, inspired me to consider my leadership skills. Since my childhood, I have been looking to know that a young lady can become more influential in her life. Afghan women have suffered for ages, therefore, as an educated girl of my country I stood to share their voices worldwide. I provided a platform for women empowerment and information sessions in different parts of Afghanistan through (AYLA).'


Anupah Makoond (Mauritius)

Geneva Peace Talks

Anupah is a data and programme analyst at the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Until recently, she was a research manager for the Peace and Human Rights Data Programme at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) where she provided expertise in data collection and analysis to humanitarian agencies and peacekeeping operations across the world.  Before specializing in data projects for the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, Anupah worked for Interpeace, where she supported dialogue processes in several conflict affected countries including Liberia, Guatemala, Timor-Leste and Burkina Faso. Prior to her work with peacebuilding organisations and humanitarian agencies, Anupah led advocacy efforts for non-profits working on social and health policies in her home country of Mauritius. She has worked most consistently on issues of harm reduction related to drug use and street children. Anupah studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and New York University and in 2020, completed a dual Masters in Business and in Evidence Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at the University of Oxford.


Rajendra Senchurey

Rajendra Senchurey (Nepal)

Peace practitioner, Policy Research Institute

Rajendra Senchurey is a dedicated peace practitioner currently working with Policy Research Institute - a think tank of Nepal Government. He teaches conflict and peace studies to the post-grads in Mid-Western University as a Visiting Lecturer. He holds an MPhil in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He has a decade of experience in the fields of interfaith, interreligious dialogue, civil resistance and nonviolence, conflict resolution, transitional justice and sustaining peace. He has worked in these areas under several national and international fellowships including the ones from UNESCO, KAICIID, ICNC and FK Norway. He regularly writes in Nepal's leading national dailies as a freelance contributor. He is the recipient of "Books for Peace 2020" Award. He is the Secretary of Initiatives of Change Nepal. He was a Caux Scholar in 2017 and a member of the organizing team of the "Towards an Inclusive Peace" conference in 2018 and 2019. He has spoken as a Panelist at the 'Just Governance for Human Security' Conference in 2018. As an intellectual from Dalit (so-called untouchables in the Hindu caste system) community, Rajendra is committed to eliminating caste-based discrimination from Nepal.


Désiré Tuyishemeze

Désiré Tuyishemeze (Burundi)

CEO & Founder, Psychological Care and Wellness Institute

Désiré Tuyishemeze graduated in Clinical and Social Psychology and specialized on the exploration of the link between mental health, trauma healing, peace and reconciliation and climate change is his domain of interest and actions. Désiré is active in different local and international organizations aiming at promoting mental health and psychosocial wellbeing for individual and communities. He is an active member within Initiatives of Change, locally and on the international level and currently part of the Programme Support Team for the Emerging Agents of Change/IofC International.





Tanaka Mhunduru


Tanaka Mhunduru (Zimbabwe)

Participant of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme

Tanaka Mhunduru is a young man from Zimbabwe who is an active advocate for peace building and social change in the world. Tanaka has been involved with the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme for three years and he is always looking for ways to be of service to his community and the world. Since attending the CPLP in 2017, Tanaka has seen the power of global collaboration and has gained a much deeper respect for diversity and creativity when it comes to approaching the issues we see today in the world. Tanaka is also involved in small scale farming and he spends most of his time working with the youth in his church and community. His hobbies include playing music and sport.







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