Friday, June 2, 2017

Becca Barrow talks about her experience being part of the Caux Scholars Program in India.

In December 2016 and January 2017 I was fortunate to spend three week in Asia Plateau (AP) in Panchgani, India.  Along with twenty students from around the world, I attended the Caux Scholars Programme (CSP-AP), focussing on peace building and conflict resolution.

I entered the classroom on the first day cautiously optimistic.  By the end of the three weeks I was well out of my comfort zone.  It was what I'd hoped it would be and so much more.

The days were long and crammed full of learning.  We started most days with reflections at 6.30am and had classes until the evening.  We learnt about a range of theories including conflict resolution, sustainable development and peacebuilding, strategic non-violence and leadership, trauma healing, restorative justice and self-care.  We also visited two villages and a school.

Most important for me was mindfulness and self-reflection. I was challenged to examine my lifestyle, decision making and relationships.  I initially struggled with stopping the inner dialogue in my head.  Prior to coming to AP, I wanted to become more relaxed and mindful.  CSP-AP gave me the tools to do this, once I'd given myself a chance to accept them.

CSP-AP was a life-changing experience.  I've made some lifelong friends and I'm certain I'll utilise the knowledge gained in my work and personal life.  I've returned with a renewed sense of motivation and enthusiasm.  I’m grateful for IofC New Zealand for giving me the opportunity to attend CSP-AP 2016/17.

CSP-AP 2016-2017 Group