CAUX-IofC celebrates its 70th anniversary
24 heures, the local paper of the Canton of Vaud, has written about the 70th anniversary celebrations of Caux, the Initiatives of Change international conference centre in Switzerland.
The article, published on 13 April 2016, says that CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation, that works on building relationships in the world, has kicked off its anniversary celebrations with a photo exhibition that reveals some of the movement's extraordinary stories. The following has been translated by Joanna Bilcliffe from the article:
Daphrose Barampama is one of the speakers chosen by Caux Initiatives of Change for its exhibition. ‘It’s with ordinary people that we make big stories’, says Daphrose, a political refugee from Burundi, currently living in Switzerland who has made the decision to return to her home country to promote peace and development there. The native Burundian is one of 10 speakers chosen by the CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation to retrace its rich history over the course of the last 70 years.
Created in 1946, the movement, whose global headquarters is found in Caux (in the Montreux commune of Switzerland), has played an important role in Franco-German reconciliation after World War II, with former Chancellor of Germany Konrad Adenauer visiting in 1947. The organisation has also played a role in the decolonisation process in Africa and also in rebuilding Japan after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation has had several notable presidents including Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who himself visited Caux three times, and Cornelio Sommaruga, the former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Its current Secretary General is Barbara Hintermann, also from the ICRC. The CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation's motto is that global change starts with personal change.
To kick off its 70th anniversary celebrations, CAUX-Initiatives of Change has created a travelling exhibition called 'First Steps' that documents the paths of ordinary people who have joined the movement and carried out extraordinary projects. Such is the story of Daphrose Barampama, the current President of the worldwide association Creators of Peace, an association inspired by the philosophies of Caux Initiatives of Change. She says: ‘We too, we are convinced that peace that stems from an individual will spread throughout the world’.
The travelling exhibition, made up of photos, stories and portraits, aims to share with those who live in the Lemanic region the remarkable life-changing experiences that started at Caux Palace. Caux Palace has been transformed into a centre for conferences and important meetings over the course of the last seven decades.
Currently, the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants into European countries is a cause of great concern to the CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation. The topic was debated in length during a recent conference called 'Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business'. Barbara Hintermann states: ‘Europe should not forget that it relied on migrants to develop. European countries should show solidarity and empathy because it is absolutely necessary to welcome refugees who are often extremely distressed and exhausted by the dangerous journey they have just endured’.
Translated by Joanna Bilcliffe