Monday, August 31, 2015

Caux, Switzerland

The Caux Scholars Program (CSP) aims to train young scholars in the fields of peacebuilding, transitional and restorative justice, and reconciliation. The 21 Scholars of the summer 2015 session were from 16 countries. The course is designed to enhance scholars’ already strong capacity to effect change in the world and in their communities. It helps to equip them to be effective advocates for change and positive voices as the world and international systems struggle with how best to achieve peace with justice.  Scholars are also trained to be servant-leaders who put the interests of the community before their own.

On a personal note, I have benefited from the 2015 CSP training and workshops, which tackle universal issues such as peacebuilding, conflict transformation and reconciliation by challenging traditional patterns.

I have learned new concepts, which I look forward to implementing in South Sudan. An element of the course dealt with trauma healing. Trauma is real and requires treatment, and it can be treated. My hope is that the South Sudan Reconciliation process will advocate for trauma treatment in the post 2013 conflict - it should be put on its mandate.

I believe that the lessons learned from the 2015 CSP training will enhance the skills I already have and the experience in my current project-internship program at Juba University. The Internship program’s vision is to prepare future servant-leaders for South Sudan, and to help South Sudan transform from leadership built around ethnicity to national leaders who believe in nationalism, equality based on merit, peace with justice, true and genuine reconciliation and apology.

The challenge to me is how to transfer the skills and lessons learned to benefit South Sudanese in their current search for a  just peace based on  positive developments such as democracy and rule of law that filter to the grassroots.

My hope is to work very closely or in partnership with IofC in the forthcoming South Sudan program design, implementation, evaluation, monitoring, and reporting. Further, I would be happy to offer IofC non-partisan advice on South Sudan’s politics, and other issues.

Once again thanks for your support.

Justin Laku, Ottawa