Tag Archives: CONTACT

A message from CONTACT to Pakistan

Paula Green, director of the CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) program, shares this note following the 16 December school attack in Peshawar, Pakistan. On the final day of CONTACT South Asia 2014, December 14th, we watched in joy as Malala Yousafzai focused her Nobel Prize lecture on educational opportunity for all of Pakistan’s children. With passion and eloquence, she told the world that children should not, but still do, need protection from elements in society that attempt to deprive them of the basic right to education. The next day, in transit from South Asia to Boston, I saw the TV monitors in Istanbul Airport relaying information about the brutal tragedy unfolding in Peshawar, Pakistan, Malala’s home city near the Afghan border, where 145 students and teachers, denied their education and their lives, were murdered by Taliban forces. Fifty of us, participants from … Continue reading

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Honoring Proud World Learning Papas

In recognition of Father’s Day June 19, we are highlighting two fathers who encouraged their children to explore the world and themselves through World Learning programs. Twins Nungshi and Tashi Malik from India are celebrating this Father’s Day by following in their dad’s peacebuilding footsteps. They are among the nearly 60 peacebuilders attending SIT Graduate Institute’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, or CONTACT, program which marks its 15th anniversary this summer. Their father, an Indian army colonel deployed in the disputed northern states of Manipur and Nagaland, attended the program in 2008. Another father, World Learning President Adam Weinberg, writes about the profound impact that The Experiment in International Living program in China had on his teenage daughter Margaret last summer. “My daughter was given the experience of a lifetime, while I was able to experience our programs as a parent, coming to understand the profoundness of … Continue reading

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SIT Graduate Institute Honors Class of 2011

Bright sun, light breeze and upbeat percussion music set the tone for a day of celebration as some 200 graduates received master’s degrees or graduate certificates in programs ranging from sustainable development to international education. The keynote speech was delivered by Kevin Clements, founding director of New Zealand’s first National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association. He also serves on the faculty of SIT Graduate Institute’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, or CONTACT program, which marks 15 years of training professional peacemakers this month. Clements urged those in attendance to find ways to promote peace in their own lives, whether at home or abroad. Following the remarks, President Adam Weinberg presented the World Learning Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award to two remarkable women. World Learning honored Clare Brett Smith, an alumna of the … Continue reading

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Become a Beacon of Peace: 15 years of Peacebuilding

World Learning’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program is nearing its ambitious goal of training professional peacebuilders in half of the world’s countries—and just in time to celebrate the program’s 15-year anniversary. Read the press release. The three-week professional development course covers conflict analysis, interventions and strategies for use in protracted conflicts, and the essential tools of peacebuilding such as dialogue, mediation and training. Applications for this summer’s program are due April 30. Apply now. Below, a former CONTACT participant named Moussa shares how the CONTACT program changed his life and prepared him for a career in international development. In my country, Mali, we don’t know much about Arabic countries and the true realities of some neighboring countries. All we know is from newspapers, TV, or radio. But in the CONTACT Program in 2009, I got the wonderful opportunity to see, … Continue reading

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CONTACT participants honor International Day of Peace

A group of students, faculty and staff from the SIT Graduate Institute came together Tuesday to support peacebuilding efforts around the globe as part of an event marking September 21 as the International Day of Peace. Supporters gathered to sign a peace banner and engage in discussions about peacebuilding strategies, conflict analysis, and the meaning of peace. The event, organized and sponsored by the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program, featured remarks from current and past CONTACT participants. Some of the dedicated individuals pursuing international peacebuilding efforts this month include: • Dr. Tatsushi Arai, associate professor of Conflict Transformation at the SIT Graduate Institute, who traveled to Pakistan to study the aftermath of the flood that devastated the country in July. He reports that the effects of the flood are both “structural and psychological.” • Dr. Paula Green, CONTACT program director … Continue reading

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Conflict Transformation In the News

Today’s Brattleboro Reformer has a great article introducing the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program to the greater southern Vermont community: Over the past 14 years, nearly 1,500 people from the United States and 60 countries around the world have traveled to Brattleboro to participate in the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program, a three-week summer course conducted at SIT Graduate Institute. “They come because of the chaos and turmoil in their countries in the hopes they can find non-violent solutions to the problem of differences in approaches and needs and to establish more equal systems in their countries,” said Paula Green, a professor at SIT and the founder and director of CONTACT. Read the whole article here.

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SIT alum finds education scholarships for Kenyan youth

Written by Lydia Spitalny, a SIT Study Abroad Kenya alum. She is currently the Co-Executive Director of Education for the Future Foundation, an education nonprofit organization in Kenya that is partnering with SIT Study Abroad Kenya. Lydia has also completed the SIT Graduate Institute CONTACT course in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. The greatest lesson I have taken from my experiences with SIT and World Learning is the necessity of community.  I first came to Kenya in 2007 on the SIT Study Abroad Kenya program. I enrolled in the program in order to practice my Kiswahili, explore a continent that I felt was deeply misunderstood, and to visit a country I had studied for several years. When I left Kenya, I left as a member of a community with promises made and relationships formed that would continue to deepen over the … Continue reading

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CONTACT South Asia inaugurated in February in Kathmandu

In February, 48 participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka gathered in Kathmandu to take part in the first CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) South Asia Program in Kathmandu. The program was started in response to requests from South Asian students participating in the US program, as well as to the escalating tensions within the region. The program draws together South Asian emerging leaders and helps them develop professional affiliations while pushing them to work together towards building a strong and safe region. The program was led by SIT’s experienced CONTACT faculty with over 13 years of experience with refining the CONTACT curriculum and methodology in Vermont and Africa. Faculty included Tatsushi Arai, Kevin Clements, Paula Green, Shweta Sing, and CONTACT graduate, Juan Armando Diaz. “Alone, each facilitator is a powerhouse in their own right, but together … Continue reading

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‘Crucible for positive change’; article in Brattleboro Reformer on CONTACT

The Summer Peacebuilding Program of the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program (CONTACT) is highlighted below in an article published in the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper.  This Summer Peacebuilding Program is one part of a three-section Joint Masters program at the SIT Graduate Institute.  Following the Summer Peacebuilding Program, some participants choose to continue with the CONTACT Graduate Certificate, and a shortened version of the MA. Crucible for positive change By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff Monday, June 16 BRATTLEBORO — A relatively peaceful life, clean air, water and food, a place to live and a job are things most of us living in the United States take for granted. For the people attending the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program at the School for International Training, visiting Vermont is a chance to put aside their hectic lives and see some of that for themselves. … Continue reading

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Join World Peacebuilders in June 2008

Part 1 of the CONTACT 2007 movie As I watched the movie about CONTACT 2007 made by Dil Bhusan and sent all the way from Nepal, I became a little nostalgic. I miss all the 72 participants -I have been in touch with each and every one of them from their first inquiry to their campus arrival. I was happy to see them come and sad to see them go. Fortunately, nowadays we are only one click away and we have plenty of photos that captured the beautiful moments together. But let me not get carried away by nostalgia and concentrate on the 2008 Group of Peacebuilders. Applications for the CONTACT program came in from 35 countries. Rich backgrounds, inspiring stories, determined personalities. CONTACT, the Conflict Transformation across Cultures Summer Peacebuilding Program will take place June 1-20. For 3 weeks … Continue reading

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