From Caux to the Mandela Mile

Caux Peace and Leadership Programme

Mandela Mile image logo


18 July was the birthday of Nelson Mandela and this year marked the end of the first Mandela Mile Leadership Programme (MMLP). This 14-week programme had 36 participants from 21 countries. Some of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP) alumni acted as buddies, accompanying the participants on their leadership journeys. MMLP ended with a 24-hour Mandela Mile livestream, interspersed with videos from the participants telling of their experiences.

One of them was Romano Iluku from Kenya, who was also a buddy. He writes:

Romano Iluki, Kenya, CPLP

"I was brought up in one of the largest slums in Africa, Kibera in Nairobi. Life in the slum means you have no opportunity and no hope for the future. I was accustomed to living in a 10x10 single room with five family  members, going without food at times, walking barefoot and staying out of school due to lack of fees.

Life in this environment is indeed pathetic. But because I discovered the person I was capable of being, I rose above the walls and barriers to transform my personal life. I am currently pursuing a course in international relations, peace and security.

I’m passionate about education and transformation. It is what has made me what I am today. And my passion for transformation is guided by my desire to learn, love and serve humanity and so to change the narrative that nothing good can ever come from the slums. And the narrative that someone coming from a disadvantaged background will never have any opportunities.

My experience at CPLP 2018 was a life-changing one. Experiencing Caux’s values and interacting with great and inspirational leaders made me think of something bigger. This led me into starting an organization where I live, to create flourishing and resilient communities.  

The CPLP also opened the door for me to participate in MMLP.

MMLP nurtures the leadership skills of young leaders engaged in grassroots development initiatives around the world. My 12 weeks with MMLP were productive in many ways. I found the experience of being a buddy amazing and humbling. The experience borrowed much from Caux’s values: quiet time was central to helping young leaders reflect on their personal journeys. I got a chance to share with two other participants from different countries. In my turn, I was privileged to have Nick Foster, from IofC and Caux, as my buddy. I was so encouraged and motivated by his support and received great insight on my spiritual journey.

Access to experts and guidance through the programme has helped me to shape the development of my initiative in Kenya and to realign it with three of the Sustainable Development Goals: reduced poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2) and reduced inequalities (SDG 10).

Interacting with likeminded and visionary leaders through MMLP and learning from their inspiring experiences was indeed remarkable to me. It has helped to improve my confidence as a young leader. "

My experience at CPLP 2018 was a life-changing one.


Find out more about the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP).


Image: Mandela Mile


Featured Story

related stories

CPLP Talks 8 square article 2

Remaking the World: Experiences from Mexico, Germany and Colombia

Discover inspiring initiatives of Caux Peace and Leadership alumni from Mexico, Colombia and Germany....

CPLP Talks 8 Tema

Remaking the World: Experiences from Eswatini and Colombia

The eighth edition of the CPLP Talks recognizes the courage shown by CPLP alumni in responding to the challenges that the world is facing. Below alumni from Eswatini and Colombia describe intiatives t...

Zeindab Dilati

A journey, not a destination

One year after the devastating explosion in Beirut, we meet Zeinab Dilati (also known as Zee) who took part in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as a participant, practiti...

Valentina CPLP Talks 6

'How do I talk about peace?'

'How do I talk about peace in what feels like the most unequal country in Latin America? How to generate social and sustainable development in a country with an internal war lasting more than 60 years...

Manuela Garay 2021

'I could see that my contribution was meaningful'

Manuela Garay from Canada was part of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2017 and reflects on the impact her participation has had on her and her perspective on life and other people ever sin...

We love from Packages

We Love From: Making a difference in someone else's life

'I wouldn’t have imagined that with a piece of paper, a pencil and a little bit of your time and effort, you can really make a difference in someone else’s life!' - Georgina Flores and Lorena Mier y T...

All I could think was ‘Am I safe?’

'I wish the world had more safe spaces for women and for men, to work together to build safe communities', says Temantungwa Ndlangamandla in her article about gender and safety and explains how her cu...

Men, Paula Mariane 2019.jpg

A conversation between men around gender and safety

How can we all contribute to building a sense of safety for everyone within our communities? The CPLP Talks team convened a dialogue space where they asked men for their perspective on the topic of ge...


Getting comfortable under my skin

'I now look at myself in the mirror differently. I am slowly getting comfortable under my skin.' - Tinotenda Dean Nyota from Gweru, Zimbabwe, took part in the CPLP in 2018. He is an Economics graduat...

CPLP Charlotte Rémié

The best of both cultures

'I realized that having two cultures is not a burden but a richness and that I am lucky to be able to take the best of both.' - Charlotte Rémié discovered Initiatives of Change through her parents in ...

CL Maria Romero Project Colombia hut

Find your own style of leadership to change the world

'I realized that I could make a difference in the world.’- Find out how Maria set up a library in a remote community in Colombia to fight illiteracy and help children write stories which transmit thei...

Abeda Nasrat CPLP

‘Afghanistan gave me roots, Denmark gave me wings’

Abeda Nasrat came to Denmark as a refugee from Afghanistan at the age of two. She now studies Law at the University of Copenhagen and works as a student assistant at the Danish Institute for Human Ri...

Sebastian Hasse CPLP

Culture, origins and freedom

"Time and again, encounters with people who have different cultural roots from me have challenged and often overwhelmed me. But it is these encounters that have allowed me to keep growing, both in my ...

Harshani Bathwadana Sri Lanka

The courage to offer hope

Harshani Bathwadana from Sri Lanka describes how she found the hope to bring hope through education to thousands of girls. ...

Redempta CPLP Talks 1

Freeing girls to study

"One act of compassion continues to have a great impact on my life." - Redempta Muibu from Nakuru, Kenya, describes how taking part in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2015 inspired her to s...