Young Ambassadors Programme
Building a new generation of trustbuilders in Europe
Update: Thank you for your interest in the Young Ambassadors Programme. Applications are now closed.
The Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) is a learning experience in social transformation that links individual change and community change.
The programme, under the aegis of Tools for Changemakers, brings together young people who aspire to take an active role in transforming society, with a focus on Europe. The training explores the dynamic relationship between personal and global change, sharing stories and exchanging experiences, creating space for reflection and taking focused action.
The programme began in 2015 as an additional component of the Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business conference (now Tools for Changemakers). Over the last six years it has brought together over 200 participants, inspiring them with deeper conviction about Europe, equipping them with the tools to build sustainable change, and connecting them to a supportive network of similarly engaged young people, as well as to the wider Initiatives of Change network.
YAP bases its methods on over 70 years of trustbuilding work by Initiatives of Change around the world.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Young Ambassadors Programme 2021 will take place in an online format. The programme will be a series of 90-minutes sessions in English, held between the 9 July and 29 August 2021.
- To train and equip young people with practical tools and deeper sensitivity to the diverse perspectives of others
- To develop a network of young people who are committed to positive change in their communities
- To create opportunities for further cooperation and collaboration and follow-up activities between participants and alumni
- To contribute to and promote a richer mutual understanding of beliefs, values, identity, history and cultures through a collective learning experience
What we offer
- A training programme that supports your efforts to transform your community and equips you with tools for social change, dialogue and peacebuilding
- An opportunity to grow in your understanding of social transformation and commitment on the basis of (self-)reflection
- The opportunity to become part of a European-based community of young changemakers and friends who are working towards change, starting with themselves, and supporting each other in this process
- Upon graduation, the Young Ambassadors join the community of YAP alumni, with the opportunity to take part in further programmes specifically designed for their needs.
Who is this programme for?
Young people aged 18-30 who:
- Demonstrate a strong interest or active participation in civil society initiatives, NGOs, political organizations and structures
- Are willing to make space for new ideas, dialogue and reflection on topics that impact communities
- Show interest and curiosity about the experiences of others and come with an open mind
- Have a high standard of spoken English
- Are ready to share about the challenges of social cohesion, identity and trust in their communities (however big or small) and are ready to take initiative after the training programme
- Are ready to participate actively throughout the entire duration of the programme
- Since we are running this programme online this year, we are gratefully inviting young people from everywhere. However, the programme focuses on residence or citizenship in the following countries: Switzerland, UK, Romania, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and Ukraine.
The Young Ambassadors Programme is funded by Movetia, the Swiss agency for exchange and mobility.
When and where
The Young Ambassadors Programme sessions will take place online, between 9 July and 29 August).
Participants’ learning and the group’s dynamic depend on their commitment to all sessions.
See the full programme HERE.
Rob Lancaster | Australia
From Australia, since 2007 Rob Lancaster has worked with more than 30 different teams, primarily with Initiatives of Change, on trust building projects and programmes in Asia, Africa, and Eastern and Western Europe. His experience ranges from Leadership programmes in Caux, to the reconciliation process and grassroots consultation in South Sudan. Rob has degrees with Honours in both Law (LLB) and Arts (International Relations/French) from the Australian National University, as well as a Master’s of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Oxford. He currently works with Oxford Policy Management, an international development consultancy, managing a peacebuilding programme in South Sudan. He likes fresh cinnamon donuts.
Patrycja Pociecha | Poland / Switzerland
Patrycja Pociecha (Pati) is a project manager, facilitator and digital education specialist. She holds a degree in Psychology. Since 2010 she is active in national and international organizations on a voluntary basis. First as a Project Coordinator in GFPS - Polska, a student organization that promotes Polish-German cooperation, later on in a network of Initatives for Central and Eastern Europe (InMOE e.V.). In 2013 she got inspired by IofC's approach to personal change that affects global change. Since then she has been active in several programmes in Caux (Caux Interns Leadership Programme, International Peacebuilders Forum, Young Ambassadors Programme since 2018).
Application deadline: Please apply before 14 June 2021.
We recommend that interested individuals apply as early as possible.
We will select suitable candidates based on their personal motivation and their demonstration of high interest or active participation in initiatives and projects related to the topic.
For more information contact us.
A bi-monthly drop-in book club to resource you and fellow change-makers. Dive or dip into important and inspiring resources and ideas, connect with kindred spirits and explore your inner wisdom. ...
Listening is a powerful tool that can have powerful effects on its recipient. It is also a difficult one to master. On 5 November 2020, Initiatives of Change Switzerland led an online workshop on the ...
Mohammed Abu-Nimer is Professor at the American University’s School of International Service in International Peace and Conflict Resolution in Washington DC and a Senior Advisor to the International D...
"I am really thankful to the person who introduced me to the Initiatives for Change programme "Learning to be a Peacemaker". It was life-changing in so many ways. It opened my eyes to things we know i...
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...
‘[Borders] are actually quite fragile – they are only built on the idea that we cannot connect to ourselves and to others’
In 2018, Sezan Eyrich spent a semester in Warsaw, studying political science and searching for a comfortable way to discuss political issues. When a friend recommended the Tool for Change Young Ambass...
This year’s Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) brought 39 young people from across Europe to Caux for four intensive days of training in how to work for change in their communities. They then took part...
The Armenian-Kurdish-Turkish Dialogue 2019 took place during the Tools for Changemakers conference, bringing together people of Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish backgrounds to explore sensitive issues th...
After fighting against the German occupation of his country, Norway, Jens Wilhelmsen worked with Initiatives of Change (IofC) in Germany and Japan. In over 70 years of fulltime work for IofC on three ...
How can the alienation felt by so many young Muslims be healed? Imam Ajmal Masroor believes that the alienation stems largely from the inner conflict generated by feeling caught between two value-syst...
Marc Isserles’s poignant one-man show, We Must Save the Children, comes to life when you discover that his grandparents sought shelter at the Caux Palace in 1945 as Jewish refugees. The play took plac...
The first edition of the ‘Tools for Changemakers’ conference took place from 14-18 July 2019 at the Caux Forum. It was based on the conclusions from the conference ‘Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Busi...
Highlights of Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business 2018 in video...
Building the Next Generation of Trustbuilders in Europe...
A primary school teacher from Belarus sits at the lunch table with an ex neo-Nazi from Sweden, who now works to prevent extremism among youngsters. ‘What can we do as parents and teachers?’ she asks h...