Meet the people who serve the Caux Forum
Caux Forum 201930/07/2019
Front stage at the Caux Forum we have plenaries, workshops, tasty meals and rooms with a view. Back stage are the 22 people who run the departments which provide beds, food and beverages, clean rooms, front desk services and technical support. Without them, there would be no Caux Forum. Nicole Walther talked to some of them.
Khadija Hajoui from Morocco
Activity: You will find Khadija at reception, working at the front desk or the cash desk. She manages, supervises and trains the 14 junior managers and interns who serve in her department.
When not at the Forum: She recently graduated as a work and organizational psychologist.
Favourite part of the day: Mentoring the participants in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme who work with her. She loves to witness how they grow as they face the different challenges that arise at reception.
Caux story: Khadija first worked at reception five years ago, as an intern. The following year she was offered the job of front desk manager: a responsibility which took her out of her comfort zone and which she still holds.
Why does Khadija come back to Caux?: ‘Caux is a school for me,’ she says. ‘It helped me to grow into the woman I am today.’ She sees Caux as a safe space which gives her love, coaching and the opportunity to discover herself.
Her success: She managed 28 people in five different departments last year.
If she were an animal, she would be a bird because it can fly by itself but still enjoys being in a group.
Victor T Nyanhete from Zimbabwe
Activity: Victor mostly works in the dining room, but is in touch with all departments. He manages the setting up of the dining hall, the food service and the cleaning up. He is the person who makes sure that everyone gets what they need at mealtimes. He gives management training to the junior heads of service.
When not at the Forum: Victor recently graduated with a Masters in food biology. He now works in South Africa as a chemical scientist.
His favourite part of the day: Being responsive in helping people.
Caux story: This is Victor’s fifth time at Caux. He has always worked around the dining room. He began as an intern, came back as a sponsored participant and then as a trainer for the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme. Last year he was the buffet manager and now he is Head of Service in the hospitality department.
Why does Victor come back to Caux?: ‘Caux means to create and recreate,’ he says. ‘You create friendships and internal peace. However you can also recreate yourself by fixing the things that have gone wrong.’
His success: Last year he served 30,000 meals.
If he were an animal, he would be a koala because he likes to raise himself out of his comfort zone.
Liliana Neciu from Romania
Activity: During the Caux Forum conferences, Lilana Neciu sits behind a big desk covered with switches, buttons and cables. She manages the light, sound and room display as part of the technical team.
When not at the Forum: Lilana is a professional opera singer. This makes her appreciate her work in Caux even more. Here she is not on stage under the spotlight but doing the work that others normally do for her.
Favourite part of the day: Having talks with people.
Caux story: This is Liliana’s third time at the Caux Forum. She first came in 2017 for the Week of International Community which prepares the Caux Palace before the conferences begin. Last year she participated in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme and she is now Head of Service Junior of the Technical team.
Why does Liliana come back to Caux?: She loves the energy, the view and the Caux Palace. She first came to Caux at a difficult time in her life: ‘It came into my life when I needed it.’
Her success: She gave an opera concert at last year’s Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business conference.
If she were an animal, Liliana would be a dog, as she is a faithful person who keeps her friends for life.
Wanda Iwan from Poland
Activity: Wanda is a Head of Service Junior in the dining hall. She prepares the food and tables, and makes sure that everyone knows what to do before the big rush starts. She enjoys her work and the running around it involves.
When not at the Forum: Wanda is studying Economics with an interest in International law. She has set herself the goal of visiting every country in the world.
Favourite part of the day: She likes giving out the tokens that indicate participants’ diets. At breakfast she gives the participants a big smile, because ‘we are the first people they are seeing today’.
Caux story: Wanda came to the Caux Forum for the first time in 2018, as a participant in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme. She was an intern in the dining hall.
Why does Wanda come back to Caux?: Her face lights up: ‘It is hard not to come back: partly for the people, partly for the place. Here you can give 200 per cent of yourself.’ She likes the way people support the ideas and projects that emerge during her time of silent reflection.
Her success: For her every day is a success, as she knows that people love to come for food and are happy afterwards.
If she were an animal, Wanda would be a black Robin.
Text & Photos: Nicole Walther
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