Life-changing training programme
'Caux gave me hope'18/12/2019
When Mulham Soufi heard that Caux was ‘an incredible place where people change the world’, he couldn’t believe such a place existed. So he decided to see for himself, by signing up for the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP) in 2018. He never imagined that two years later he would be claiming that the training programme had changed his life.
Born in Syria and mostly raised in France, Mulham didn’t have much hope in 2018. His main purpose was to find a way to simply fit into French society, which he saw as unchangeable. ‘I didn’t care much about wars or exploitation’, he explains, ‘I just wanted to seek out the best for myself in this system.’
Through the CPLP, Mulham learnt about global issues and gained soft skills, such as listening and facilitation. He also discovered an international community of people who were full of hope. ‘I met incredible, inspiring, like-minded people from around the world,’ he says. ‘Everywhere in the world there is a trustworthy person I can stay with, because we connected through the programme, even if just for a few minutes.’
‘Once you have connected with so many people with different realities and contexts, you can’t not care anymore.’
These new relationships helped Mulham gain perspective. ‘Once you have connected with so many people with different realities and contexts, you can’t not care anymore.’ Once he got back home, he started asking himself, ‘What if I don’t have to live in this preordained system? What if things could change?’ Instead of seeking out the best for himself, he realized that he could ‘be part of a whole while seeking the best for others’. He felt a personal responsibility to work to resolve the issues facing the world. He started applying what he had learnt at Caux, listening to others more and seeking opportunities to give before looking after himself.
Mulham returned to CPLP in 2019 and was excited to share the changes he had made in his life. He told his life story publicly for the first time during the Just Governance for Human Security conference. ‘When I saw the emotions of other people listening to my story, I felt understood,’ he says. Reclaiming his story freed him. ‘It gave it less importance in my life.’
A lot has changed for Mulham since 2018. He achieved his dream of being accepted into Ecole 42, Lyon’s renowned computer programming school. He has become active in AZUNI, a non-profit organization working to sensitize youth to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He’s been invited to different conferences, including the World Youth Forum 2019, which took place in Egypt in December. He believes that the CPLP gave him ‘the maturity and reason to succeed in my projects’.
‘Caux is magical,’ he says. ‘It gave me hope.’ He plans to return to CPLP in 2020 as a trainer.
Applications for the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme 2020 are open until 19 January 2020! Alumni of the CPLP are also organizing the conference Creative Leadership, which will take place from 7 to 10 July 2020.
Text: Sabrina Thalmann, Communications Officer
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