Caux Peace and Leadership Alumni walking the extra “Mandela Mile”

CPLP 2019  group laughing credit: Paula Marianne


“Mandela Mile” is an annual observance and global leadership challenge founded in 2018 by Shanthi Annan (daughter in-law of Kofi Annan). It runs between 8 April (Kofi Annan’s birthdate) and 18 July (Nelson Mandela’s birthdate) not only for remembering and celebrating the two legendary leaders but also for globally amplifying the voices of today’s mindful leaders and inspiring each individual to go the extra mile to a freer, fairer and more peaceful world.


speech Kofi Annan Caux
Kofi Annan in Caux 2013: "One is never too young to become a leader!"


This year, the “Mandela Mile Leadership Challenge” and “Caux Peace and Leadership Programme” have collaborated to create a three-month online training initiative for young emerging leaders called the “Mandela Mile Leadership Programme”. The online training focuses on walking the Mandela Mile with the participants by facilitating the skills they need for their individual projects which directly impact their local communities. Most of the 40 inspiring young participants originating from 21 different countries have their roots in Caux. Many of them have either completed the “Caux Peace and Leadership Programme” or were registered for this year’s edition, which has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Despite the pandemic and isolation, they are still able to develop their projects to make a change in their communities and can find support in the online training programme.

During the online launch of the “Mandela Mile Leadership Programme” on 8 April 2020, the participant’s joy to reconnect, enthusiasm to meet new people, getting inspired and sharing stories were heartwarming and could be felt even through the computer screens. These young people are sincerely interested in adapting to the current situation and gaining new leadership skills in order to make a difference.


CPLP 2019 garden group credit: Paula Marianne
CPLP participants in Caux 2019


The projects the participants have chosen for this programme range from planting trees to artistic seminars as well as addressing current human right issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights and poverty through workshops, sessions, awareness raising campaigns and online programmes. Even if every participant’s project is unique, they all aim at working towards one or several Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015.

The participants will not only be accompanied by professional coaches during the “Mandela Mile Leadership Programme”, but also by “Buddies” (friends who walk alongside them and are readily available to listen to them and support them) as practiced during the “Caux Peace and Leadership Programme”.

We are looking forward to learning and hearing more from these young changemakers and to seeing how their projects grow and bear fruit.

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela



Photos 1 and 3: Paula Marianne

Photo 2: IofC Switzerland


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