Going down the mountain

Caux Scholars Program 2019

08/08/2019

 

When people say that Caux is a life-changing experience, it is not just a cliché. For some, this is their first time out of their countries. For many, it is an opportunity to work with their traumas and fears and to create a safe space for growth, hope and maturity. After such deep experiences, going back down the mountain is not easy, particularly for those returning to conflict areas or grappling with inner conflicts.

 

 Nick Foster | Caux Forum Director
Nick Foster | Caux Forum Director

 

The Caux Forum Director, Nick Foster, reinforces the importance of maintaining the connections made at Caux. ‘The networking we do here is important. These connections can support and assist us as we go on. When we are connected, we are stronger, resilient and more capable than if we stand by ourselves. Having people here for one week or four weeks is an incredible way to build a community.’

 

Osama Alramtisi
Osama Alrantisi | CSP Program Coordinator 2019

 

The programme coordinator of the Caux Scholars Program (CSP), Osama Alrintisi, is a second-generation Caux participant. His father, Mohamed Alrantisi, first came to Caux in 1997 and was a Caux Scholar in 2001. ‘When I grew up, he told me about it,’ says Osama.

When Osama left Palestine to study in Sweden, he became involved with IofC there. He came to Caux for the first time in 2017 as a participant in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP), returned in 2018 as a Caux Scholar and again this year as programme coordinator.

‘In CPLP, I learned to serve others,’ he says. ‘I met people from different backgrounds and learned how to build a dialogue with someone who disagrees with me. It was one of the most important learnings. CPLP helped me in personal issues, such as how to build relationships, serve and host people. It was helpful for me in Sweden.’

The more academic Caux Scholars Program taught him to ‘look carefully at conflicts and how to approach these issues with others’, he says. ‘It gave me technical and practical development which allowed me to put this knowledge into practice in peacebuilding in my personal and professional life. It had an impact on my way of thinking.’ He finds it hard to leave the peace of Caux, but he goes with hope. ‘I am thinking about what to do next in my country.’

 

Saba Gül
Saba Gül | Scholar from Pakistan

 

Saba Gül, a 2019 Caux Scholar from Pakistan, is leaving with the same question. For her, the first step towards inclusive dialogue is to stop stereotyping. ‘There is ethnical and religious diversity in my country, especially where I live, in Karachi,’ she says. ‘Pakistan is ready for a real transformation. We need to prepare our generation, especially women.

‘Self-care is undervalued in our community,’ she continues. ‘I had never heard about trauma healing until I came to Caux. Things happen in childhood or adolescence and we keep those traumas for the rest of our lives. Then, self-care is important. For the first time in years, I thought about its importance.’

 

Alina Shymanska
Alina Shymanska | Scholar from Ukraine

 

Alina Shymanska, a 2019 Caux Scholar from Ukraine, says the experience has transformed her. She is going home to base her work on ethics and values she gained in Caux. ‘In conflict zones, we usually discuss justice,’ she says. ‘Forgiveness is the last point we think about. After the Caux Scholars Program, forgiveness will be the first. This process of going down the mountain is not easy, as you need to face reality when you come home. The conflict in my country is still going on. I can have a peaceful dialogue with my community about starting the reconciliation process.’

 

Text and Photos : Paula Mariane

 

Featured Story
Off

related stories

Irina Fedorenko CDES 2020 screenshot

Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security 2020

The Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security aimed high in its first online edition, with more than 15 sessions and a cumulative total of 450 participants. Experts discussed the connection between se...

CL 2020 piano at the opening

Creative Leadership – Together for Change

The Creative Leadership conference took participants on a six-day journey of personal inquiry to discover what creative leadership is and what kind of leaders they are. More than 120 passionate change...

SCreenshot keywords T4C 2020

Tools for Changemakers 2020 – Shaping the future together through dialogue

Can you truly listen? What if we all had the power to make our communities more cohesive and inclusive by starting to deeply listen to each other? The Tools for Changemakers conference was a three-day...

ELB 2020 livestream panel 2 with camera

Ethical Leadership in Business – Leadership for a resilient economy

The Ethical Leadership in Business conference, on 25 and 26 June 2020, kicked off the first Caux Forum Online. It offered a diversified experience with panels livestreamed from the Caux Palace, networ...

Summer Academy 2020 screenshot participants cropped credit: Alan Channer

Summer Academy 2020: expansive possibilities for the future

The effusive feedback from participants in the five-day 2020 Summer Academy on Land, Climate and Security vindicated the difficult decision to take the course online. Four months ago, this had seemed ...

CDLS 2019 Chau Duncan

Retooling the wheel for regenerative investment

Chau Tang-Duncan, co-founder and chief operating officer of Earthbanc, has been coming to Caux regularly since 2010. It was there that she first embraced the role she could have in connecting people a...

Karina Cheah

Overcoming the challenges of online dialogue groups

I have never been to Caux. I had also never moderated a dialogue group before, in or outside of the Caux Forum. As I faced the prospect of co-facilitating an online dialogue group in the Caux Dialogue...

Tony Rinaudo

Tony Rinaudo: For a better future in Niger

Why would an Australian farmer who moved to Africa in the 1980s be called ‘the forest-maker’? Tony Rinaudo, World Vision Australia's climate action advisor, told this year's Caux Dialogue on Environme...

CDES teaser theme square

Land and Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: assessing the risks and seeking a response

As part of the Caux Forum Online 2020, Initiatives of Change Switzerland and the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs organized a video-conference in French on ‘L...

Caux Palace view night

Climate and the economy in the post-COVID world

As pandemic-related lockdowns and travel restrictions slowly begin to ease and a return to normal life seems nearer at hand, we are at a critical juncture as to how we choose to act towards our enviro...

Nazarene Mannie

My Learning Story: Nazrene Mannie

Nazrene Mannie is the Executive Director of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and talks about her learning experiences. Our interview series 'My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning...

Daniel Clements

From personal change to conference leadership: Daniel Clements

Daniel Clements, the coordinator for this year’s Creative Leadership conference, would not have become involved with Initiatives of Change Switzerand without his father, who recommended that he attend...

COVID 19 slider EN square

The Caux Forum is going online!

Our team together with the international IofC Network is working hard to give you an online 2020 Caux Forum, trying to get you as close as possible to the “Caux experience”. Although we will not be ab...

COVID 19 slider EN final

COVID-19 : The Caux Forum 2020 is being transformed

In light of the global health crisis surrounding coronavirus, as well as its organizational and financial implications, the Council of Initiatives of Change Switzerland has decided to adapt the Caux F...

Caux_Palace_Sunset

Job offers for the Caux Forum 2020

For the Caux Forum 2020 IofC Switzerland is looking for a Dining-room Manager, a Cash Desk Manager, a Buffet Manager, an Allocation Manager and a Support Team Manager....


related events

Opening Ceremony 2018 audience 28 June 2018

Opening Ceremony 2018

Caux Scholars 2019 Dates coming up soon

Caux Scholars Program

opening ceremony 26 June 2019

Opening Ceremony