Building trust across
the world’s divides
About IofC Anchor
We build trust across the world’s divides. For more than 80 years, we have mobilised, engaged and empowered people to make personal changes that lead global change. Through our initiatives, campaigns and network of volunteers, we build stronger communities, a just, peaceful and equal society, a sustainable planet and an ethical global community.
Frank Buchman makes
Initiatives of Change owes its origins to an American called Frank Buchman (1878 – 1961). An American Lutheran minister of Swiss descent, Frank reached a crisis point aged just 30 when he resigned his job as the warden of a hostel for homeless boys in Philadelphia. He was bitter towards the trustees who he felt were too stingy with money for food. He took a vacation to Europe but could not shake off his feelings of depression.
Then, in Keswick, in the Lake District area of the UK, he attended a service in a Methodist chapel. As he looked at a statue of the crucified Christ, he had a strong conviction that he was the ‘seventh wrong man’. He wrote to the trustees, apologising for his ill-will. He wanted to share his newfound sense of freedom with others.
Over the following years, he worked mainly with students to develop his ideas. He adopted the practice of taking time every morning in silence to search for any thoughts that God might give him. And he tested his thoughts against absolute standards of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. Many students’ lives were turned in more positive directions after their encounters with Buchman.
Buchman’s ideas spread
Buchman became convinced that moral compromise limits human potential and harms relationships. His conviction that change in individuals is the only effective way to start ‘remaking the world’ was strengthened and his ideas took root in Oxford and some American universities – this work became known as ‘the Oxford Group’.
Creating a lasting impact
Through the 1930s Buchman’s ideas continued to have an impact around the world. In fact, Alcoholics Anonymous was established in 1935 as a result of the liberating experiences of some who had come into contact with the Oxford Group.
Combatting growing hatred
As European nations re-armed for war, Buchman called for ‘moral and spiritual re-armament’ as the way to build a ‘hate-free, fear-free, greed-free world’. He branded this work as Moral Re-Armament (MRA). The MRA organisation was launched in East Ham Town Hall, London.
Caux and the Post War Reconciliation
Through the generosity and hard work of hundreds of Swiss citizens, MRA purchased a run-down hotel in Caux and turned it into an international conference centre where those who had suffered in the war could come together and build new relationships.
Conferences in Caux and at Mackinac Island in the USA affected world events. These included playing a key part in the reconciliation of Japan with her South-East Asian neighbours, and in the achievement of independence without major bloodshed by several African countries.
Germans to Caux
Almost immediately, when Germany was still deeply resented by many, Buchman and his colleagues invite Germans to Caux. Over the next four years, growing numbers of Germans and French met there, and these encounters played a key part in reconciliation. Buchman was later decorated by both the German and French governments for his contribution to European reconciliation. Centres were later established in Latin America, India, Japan and several countries in Africa.
By the 1950s, casts of plays presenting MRA’s ideas were travelling all over the world, and by the 1970s, MRA owned the Westminster Theatre in London. Many of the plays, by Peter Howard and others, had a message of reconciliation, forgiveness and the importance of faith at both a personal and a national level.
Conferences in Caux and at Mackinac Island in the US, affected world events. These include playing a key part in the reconciliation of Japan with her South-East Asian neighbours, and in the achievement of independence without major bloodshed by several African countries.
When Buchman died in 1961, the former British political journalist Peter Howard assumed the leadership of MRA, but four years later he too died. There followed some difficult years, during the course of which a new international structure gradually emerged.
1968 saw the opening of Asia Plateau – an IofC centre for training of people from industry, education, the armed forces and civil society in Panchgani, India.
Further Peace-Building Initiatives
With reconciliation so important in many parts of the world, much of MRA’s work concentrated on supporting peace-making initiatives in Africa and Asia. For example, it is credited with playing a key role in the peaceful transition to independence of Zimbabwe.
A Focus on Industry
In Britain during this period, much of the work of IofC was focused on improving human relationships in industry, particularly in some of the big car and steel manufacturing plants. There was also a focus on bridging some of the racial and cultural divides in several cities.
The Collapse of Communism
The collapse of Communism triggered new needs and opportunities for building democracy in the post-Soviet world. This became one of our major focal points in the 1990s as we launched the Foundations for Freedom training courses.
Also in the 1990s, Hope in the Cities was created to bridge racial divides in the USA; and Clean Election Campaigns took place in Taiwan, Brazil and Kenya.
A Change of Name
In 2001 the name Initiatives of Change (IofC) was adopted – a recognition of the need to rebrand the message for a different era. In 2017, IofC’s global community, guided by the international communications team, looked at how to best take us into the future by refreshing the brand with the help of design agency ACW. The refreshed brand was launched in 2018, during the 50th anniversary celebration of Initiatives of Change’s centre in India: Asia Plateau in Panchgani.
UK Tour of Britain by Prof Rajmohan Gandhi
In 2005, Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi visited nine cities in the UK. His powerful message of dialogue and bridge-building across the world’s divides met with a deep and positive response from audiences across Britain.
The First School for Changemakers
In 2010, the first School for Changemakers took place on the Liverpool Hope University campus over six days, 18 to 23 June, with some 80 participants from all over Britain.
First Inter-Generational Dialogue
“Peace Begins At Home” was the challenging theme of a two-day weekend workshop for the Somali community in West London. The workshop was held at the Harlesden Stonebridge Hillside Hub in the London Borough of Brent on 23 and 24 January 2010.
Visit the UK
Assaad and Marie Chaftari visited Belfast, Manchester, Oxford and London in September.
First TIGE Roadshow
The first TIGE Roadshow, (Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy) delivered by our business programmes was held in 2013, in partnership with Tony Bradley, the Director of the Social and Ethical Enterprise Development Centre. The event was held at Liverpool Hope University Business School.
Launch of ‘Beyond Forgiving’ and Tour of the UK
Ginn Fourie and Letlapha Mphelele, protagonists of the film Beyond Forgiving, visited cities around the UK in 2014, sharing their story. In 2015, we launched the first issue of Changemakers magazine. Packed with inspiring and thought-provoking personal stories and powerful accounts of people tackling burning issues, the magazine hopes to inspire, equip and connect people with ideas on how to change their own lives and play their part in building a sustainable and peaceful society.
Launch of Changemakers Magazine
In July 2015, IofC launched the issue of Changemakers Magazine. Packed with inspiring and thought-provoking personal stories and powerful accounts of people tackling burning issues, the magazine hopes to inspire, equip and connect people with ideas on how to change their own lives and play their part in building a sustainable and peaceful society.
Rajmohan Gandhi Speaks to a World at a Crossroads in London
Rajmohan Gandhi, former president of IofC and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, spoke to a packed audience on the futility of war, the importance of reconciliation and challenges to minority rights, including in today’s India. And in 2018, on World Refugee Day, over 100 people gathered at a parliamentary reception to mark the launch of Refugees as Rebuilders™ training programme aimed at equipping refugees with knowledge and skills that they may not access through studies or work experience. These include facilitating dialogue in conflicting communities, fostering ethical leadership practices to counter corruption and nepotism, and ways of promoting sustainable livelihoods, when local economies have collapsed.
In 2017, IofC’s global community guided by the international communications team looked how to best take the organization’s heritage into the future by refreshing the brand with the help of design agency ACW. The refreshed brand was launched on January 17, 2018, during the 50th anniversary celebration of Initiatives of Change’s centre in India: Asia Plateau in Panchgani.
Launch of Refugees as Rebuilders™
On World Refugee Day, over 100 people gathered at a parliamentary reception to mark the launch of Refugees as Rebuilders™ training programme aimed at equipping refugees with knowledge and skills that they may not access through studies or work experience. These include facilitating dialogue in conflicting communities, fostering ethical leadership practices to counter corruption and nepotism, and ways of promoting sustainable livelihoods, when local economies have collapsed.
We believe that change starts with ‘me’. Our role is to empower individuals to create personal change leading to global change.
Based on the values and ethics of our founder, Frank Buchman,
we focus on the practice of quiet time and applying the absolute standards of honesty, unselfishness, love and purity of motive in everything we do. We encourage and provide safe places for open dialogue, trust-building and a new way of thinking.
Our approach to change
Our Initiatives Anchor
Our ethical leadership initiatives bring a diversity of talented people together to support change across a wide range of issues. All our groups achieved great things this year, helping to spread the message of the power of ethical change and leadership around the world.
Trust building is an important part of all the work we do,
and helps to promote sustainable change around the world.
Engaging in some of the most pressing issues affecting society is the primary focus of the Sustainable Communities Programme.
The IofC Business and Economy Programme Anchor
The start of 2020 was dominated by the preparation, recruitment, and delivery of the 10th Anniversary programme of School for Changemakers, a landmark event for the NLA team and subsequent online occasions (please see next page).
In February, Matthew Freeman, international consultant and co-author of Overcoming Bias, held an interactive session at Greencoat Place for 20 civil society leaders on the theme of ethno-nationalism as part of an ongoing effort to inform and equip decision-makers to deal better with issues that affect community cohesion in the UK.
The NLA team continued to support SfCM alumni as they became mainstays of other IofC outreach initiatives such as Refugees as Re-Builders™, the Caux Scholars Programme and the Towards an Inclusive Peace chapter of the Caux Forum.
Flat 14, IofC’s Central London residential apartment, and centre of NLA hosting activities, was a hive of activity in the first quarter of 2020. It hosted 13 outreach meals for young people and leaders in public life before the pandemic necessitated a halt to all face-to-face activities. The Director of NLA was hospitalised with Covid-19 for 9 days in late March, and following his recovery and transition to Acting National Director, Flat 14 became a base from which countless online meetings were conducted.
New Leadership &and Accompaniment
School For Changemankers Anchor
School for Changemakers
A new global partnership was formed prior to the pandemic to mark our 10-year anniversary
In 2020, School for Changemakers (SfCM), our flagship leadership programme for young people, commemorated its 10th Anniversary. To celebrate, the programme launched a powerful new partnership with IofC India Asia Plateau to widen its network and perspectives through open, global conversations. The celebration included a 7-day immersive event in Maharashtra, India, during January 2020 which brought together alumni and young changemakers from various locations internationally. Participants experienced a festival of ideas on how to effectively lead social change and learnt by way of agenda-setting debates, workshops, inspiring talks, spiritual quiet times and cultural evenings. They also visited the local village of Zarewadi during the conference to receive a blessing and hear stories from the village leaders on how the implementation of quiet time had changed their behaviour and attitudes.
Working together with Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
CEDR are world leading professional mediators and trainers who we have collaborated with since 2017. To continue our journey of shared skills training, CEDR trainers attended the School for Changemakers 10th Anniversary in Asia Plateau to deliver the workshop Having Difficult Conversations to attendees.
The School’s Alumni came together after returning from India to capture feedback, share key learnings and shape future events. This was pre-covid restrictions.
Online collaborations, organised by the School’s Alumni, kept spirits high and idea sharing alive during lockdowns
Covid-safe workshops to continue sharing ways to drive change
In line with government covid rules, the school’s alumni delivered a series of workshops to their 200+ international network to continue sharing best practise and ways of creating change during the pandemic. Philippa Watts led the online workshop 'Ways of Making Change' to showcase how people can be changemakers in different domains of their lives. Rumbi Mukoyi led a 'Professional Collaboration' session to showcase the work of her organisation, African Youth Arise, and how she leveraged connections within the SfCM community to grow her organisation. Luke Addison led the session 'Creative Play for Peace', using drama to help participants explore and understand themes of conflict, identity and negotiation. Saba Getty led the workshop 'Mental Health Matters', drawing upon her healthcare background to outline some key challenges contributing to the mental health crisis and steps changemakers can take to support themselves and members of the community in living a mentally healthy life.
'The conference taught me that there is so much out there in the world to do and contribute to society and I must start in any little way I can.'
'I am taking away a renewed sense of Global citizenship - connections with fantastic people that I can learn from and collaborate with.'
'SfCM has helped me to align my goals and purpose in what I want to achieve through the work that I do and the way that I want to live my life.'
The event was attended by 83 people, including event staff and speakers
Workshops focused on having difficult conversations, using dance movement as therapy and building the skills of self-leadership.
Plenaries focused on Leadership paired with
courage, faith, disruption, Statesmanship, family
The IofC Business and Economy Programme Anchor
Women in Leadership Roundtables
After three monthly roundtables of a small group of female professionals, December 2020 saw the official launch of our International Women in Leadership Roundtable series which aims to provide a space for sharing and connection as well as inspire new learnings and tools. The conversations encourage women to bring their much-needed feminine qualities, such as collaboration, nurturing and empathy, into businesses and the economy. The roundtables acknowledge how these qualities are currently not equally valued and considered essential for success; they support female professionals to become role models for a new narrative.
Participants from all over the world joined to hear first-hand insights from our guest speakers who included internationally renowned life coaches, leadership trainers, learning and development consultants and book authors.
Advanced Conscious Leadership Business Circles
Our Business Circles bring together leadership coaches and business academics online from across the globe, operating in various fields, to discuss the many pressing leadership issues that exist in the current business landscape. The sessions to date have identified opportunities for new leadership training development, product and services development and have also brought to light specific aspects which require a consistent ethical consciousness.
Ethical Leadership in Business at the Caux Forum
Ethical Leadership in Business (ELB) is designed to increase the moral resilience of today's business leaders and strengthen an ethical and innovative corporate culture. IofC UK’s Business and Economy team supported Initiatives of Change Switzerland with the planning, coordination and delivery of the first online ELB Caux Conference in June, as well as the ELB Talks online events. We were part of the facilitation team delivering the two-day conference which saw key note speakers explore the topics of ‘Innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa’, ‘Lifelong learning for a resilient economy’ and ‘Leadership for a moral renewal in the economy’.
'The content from the speakers, the friendly and clear chairing and opportunity to share with others. I found it empowering. It’s promoting collaboration!'
Quote from Participant
'Whenever I’m faced with a challenging situation, I think of the group and the power of the sharing – it gives me strength.'
Quote from Participant
The IofC Business and
The pandemic has placed significant pressures upon businesses, economies and individual leaders globally to perform whilst operating in uncertain and ever-changing conditions. The IofC Business and Economy Programme has set to work anchoring spirit, values and social engagement into organisations to transform the mindset in the business world. As part of this, the Business and Economy team has jointly delivered, with other Initiatives of Change UK team members, valuable upskilling sessions for various programmes.
Through each Business and Economy initiative we permeate high levels of wellbeing and resilience within the framework of modern-day leadership challenges, and we empower individual leaders to develop better effectiveness in their roles.
Two new online initiatives were launched in 2020 in order to customise IofC’s offers to an increasingly hybrid work environment. The move to online working has created a space for us to engage with an international audience to drive a richer discussion.
School For Changemankers Anchor
Refugees as Re-Builders Anchor
Watch 'Home and Away: Refugees as Rebuilders'
52 people of 19 different
Refugees as Re-Builders™
Nareeman completed the Foundation Level in April 2020. Initially sceptical about applying, she felt compelled to apply, especially given the relevancy with her activist background and interest in international development. After the induction day, she came away feeling excited, particularly by Dialogue for Social Cohesion.
Nareeman found the training to be an opportunity to be in a room with people from different backgrounds. “It opened my eyes to the fact that everyone’s experience is unique.” By talking to other participants, she realised strong connections can be made just through finding commonalities.
“I enjoyed the weekly connection and particularly the time for quiet reflection which was something I had never experienced before. I found it weird at first, but with practice, I found it an important part of my week. I have created the habit of daily silence which helps me to pay attention and appreciate the small things. It makes me feel peaceful, more confident and filled with inner strength.”
Nareeman has made more of a conscious effort to sit with colleagues when there have been issues. She has found that she is able to stop and take a step back from conflict situations and not allow ‘bad feelings to build up and explode’. The training has helped her to create boundaries and improve communication and interactions.
"Being part of this group means I am no longer alone. This group is a network, which is an important because you cannot do everything as an individual. I enjoy the connection, sharing and support the group provides. Refugees as Re-Builders is better than any course at university because it focuses on practical skills. The modules are balanced and not too heavy with theory. If anyone is interested in applying, you must be prepared to invest in yourself first so that you can invest in others.”
Marso joined the Refugees as Rebuilders Foundation level course in April 2020 and says it is ‘the best education I ever had’.
Learning about active listening skills made her realise she was not really listening to others during discussions and not really hearing their personal stories. After the course Marso was better able to connect with others and really understand other viewpoints.
Marso uses the skills gained from the course every day, and it has given her the determination and the ability to collaborate with others and to use negotiation skills.
On being part of a group of female leaders, Marso said: “I am grateful to be part of a group who can contribute, mediate and take their place, ‘in a man’s world’. I am eager to be part of the change and be a role model for other women.
At the beginning of 2020 twelve students completed our Advanced Level Refugees as Re-Builders course. This was the last face-to-face iteration before the pandemic brought it online. Each series empowers settled refugees to make a change in their countries of origin and diaspora communities; to bridge divides of ethnicity, class and religion; to strengthen the capabilities and expertise participants already possess and to provide them with a welcoming and open space to reflect and learn from their own experience.
The Refugees as Re-Builders course consists of three modules (Dialogue for Social Cohesion, Ethical Leadership for Just Governance, and Sustainable Livelihood for Resilience), and three levels (Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced). The focus is on the individual as the starting point for change, and participants are first introduced to each of the modules as a means of encouraging them to explore their existing qualities and skills. They enhance their understanding of the core module concepts by sharing experiences and project ideas with each other, thinking about how to use different leadership styles in real-life scenarios, or practising their listening and speaking skills in small groups. Finally, they are provided with practical opportunities to critically analyse rebuilding projects they are currently involved in, and to consider how what they have learned and practised might apply to future activities, once they have completed the training.
During the summer we adapted the course to ensure it was optimised for online delivery. This meant launching the first virtual Foundation Level course in October which was open to participants from around the world. We were able to expand our reach and broaden the impact of our work to support settled refugees around the world.
Agenda for Reconciliation Anchor
Between April and December 2020, 112 people participated in the
Learning to be a Peacemaker
Peter Riddell in partnership with London-based Imam Ajmal Masroor, delivered ‘’ as part of the programme in July. The course takes participants through multiple references to peacemaking in the Islamic holy scriptures. A young medic and community-builder based in Syria thanked Imam Masroor ‘for educating us in this view of religion that I never had the chance to learn during my 25 years of age’. He continued: ‘The way you delivered your thoughts, and the simple language you used, restored my faith in finding answers to many questions I have. Your tolerant view has long been missing in our everyday life in Syria to the point that eliminatory speech has become the new norm.’
Throughout the year, Agenda for Reconciliation (AfR) endeavoured to fulfil its objectives of providing a safe space for sharing, training in peace-making, accompaniment, and access to IofC’s international network for refugees and migrants who wish to contribute to the recovery of their countries of origin. With these objectives in mind, AfR continued to host weekly meetings, as it has done since the year 2000. One difference in 2020 was the need to shift meetings to online.
Agenda for Reconciliation
Qualities and Strategies of Peacemakers (QSP)
Our AfR Programme includes a course, “Qualities and Strategies of Peacemakers”, which consists of five short modules based on IofC films about outstanding peacemakers. This is followed by facilitated and interactive analysis of their strategies and qualities. The course was delivered online for the first time in 2020 and facilitated by Dr Omnia Marzouk, Former President of IofC International, and Peter Riddell, convenor of AfR, who explains here
One cause of deep sadness was the death of Berhane Woldegabriel, a long-standing Eritrean AfR member. He devoted the latter years of his life to reconciling the Eritrean diaspora leaders, who were deeply divided by their 30-year war of independence from Ethiopia. Read his, published in The Guardian.
'Being around a team of reconcilers makes me feel validated, empowered and sometimes challenged by the new learning and need to relate and compare how others are trying to deal with the challenges and opportunities of reconciling with others of a different thinking.'
William Masembe Nkata,
Clinical Trauma Specialist
'Coming from the war I was more militant, as I came close to death three times when I escaped [from South Sudan] to Kenya. At that time. I was looking to join the armed struggle more than anything else. With IofC, I found a different way of looking at things. I became relaxed and more productive in the sense of evaluating information and thinking of solutions. I recognised that God is always there when we need help.'
former South Sudan state minister
"My introduction to IofC was when Dr Lul Seyoum, who I met at a Chatham House event, invited me to the World Refugee Day event on the 26th June 2019. There I met Peter Riddell who runs the AFR programme, he invited me to join them for a session. I am delighted he did as it has been a positive experience which has brought me closer towards my desire to share my skills with leaders and aspiring leaders in Africa.
Through participating in the AFR programme I have been privileged to meet activists who have offered and sacrificed a lot for their countries, learning much about East Africa and the dynamics within its countries along the way. I have brought my outlook into discussions, seeking to encourage solutions amidst often unfavourable news of conflict emerging from the continent. I have seen others learn and soften their stances from dialogue with others in a safe space.
A highlight of my experience with IofC has been joining the Ethiopia focus group which was convened to develop a more in-depth understanding of the issues and take-home action to promote the urgent need for action in the Tigray conflict. I see this focus group approach as an extension of capacity building for participants"
Creators of Peace UK Anchor
Creators of Peace is a global women’s peace initiative launched in 1991 by Anna Abdallah Msekwa, a respected politician and trailblazer of women-led organisations in Tanzania. The programme invites women to join Peace Circles, which take place over weekends or as a series of weekly meetings. These circles are facilitated in the style of a ‘talking circle’ where all voices are heard respectfully and where women can explore diverse perspectives in a safe and brave space.
2020 was an unprecedented year for Creators of Peace UK. The pandemic pushed us to evaluate our programme and to discover how best to serve our network and the communities around us in the difficult times.
In the past we have always delivered our Peace Circles and other events face-to-face. When Covid-related restrictions on movement and gatherings disrupted our plans, we swiftly moved our programmes and support online. Unexpectedly this move expanded our audience to include women from around the world.
Creators of Peace UK
'The Peace Circle has helped me realise that rather than my life reacting to events and people, I can take responsibility for its direction. In that process I can also include others who want to make a difference, but who doubt their own ability.'
Quote from Participant
Compared to the previous year there was an unprecedented increase of 133% in outward facing public events which included Peace Circles, taster sessions and awareness raising events.
45 women engaged with us from the existing network and 25 women were new. Women joined us from across the UK, Canada, Australia, India, USA, Syria, Romania, France, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Colombia, Kenya, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan.
Our President’s Lunch and the International Peace Day both averaged 100 sign ups and a 70% turnout rate.
‘Mapping my concerns and finding my focus’
Responding to the needs of our communities, we initiated and delivered thirteen 90 minute sessions from April to September called ‘Mapping my concerns and finding my focus’. These guided women to share their daily concerns with each other, reflect in silence and look at what action they could take in their own lives, community or country.
Delivering Online Peace Circles
From September to December, we designed and delivered two online Peace Circles. Each was spread over 6-7 weeks and delivered by three facilitators. In total 13 women from 6 countries across the globe joined women in the UK. Challenges included tech failure, safeguarding in an online space and upskilling our facilitators to work online. These were overcome with training, continual assessment and guidance from our Advisory Group and support networks.
'Relaxed, spacious approach; simple format allowing me to explore my concerns and hear those of other women.'
'It really helped me to distinguish between what I can practically influence, and what I can't directly influence.'
'I loved how everyone was open from the beginning to share their stories. I'm a person who is always interested in the stories of others and being able to listen and learn from a group of wonderful women was priceless to me.'
'There is so much I have enjoyed, I am not quite sure where to begin - the insightful and compassionate facilitators, the fascinating meeting points, the opportunity to share and be shared with, solidarity with 8 wonderful women. the privilege of hearing such varied and unique stories...'
Online Peace Circle Participant, UK 2020
Online Peace Circle Sept/Oct 2020 women joining us on Zoom from UK, Denmark, Canada and India.
International Women's Day
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Creators of Peace partnered with the 18th Oxford Human Rights Festival at the Centre of Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) to hold a crafts afternoon at Oxford Brookes University in March The event brought together students, academics, practitioners and the local community.
Creators of Peace Mary Lean enjoying crafts with students and locals at Oxford Brookes University.
Watch our session 'Building Back Better for Who?' as part of #ChooseToChallenge
on International Women's Day
Online Creators of Peace
Our annual President’s Lunch took place in September and was an opportunity to invite new people to meet our community and celebrate our connections over zoom when we weren’t able to be together in person. Over 65 people came together to have lunch a meal online together and to hear inspirational speeches from our host, Amina Dikedi-Ajakaiye, Creators of Peace President, and from guest speakers, Canon Sarah Snyder from the Rose Castle Foundation UK and Dr Karambu Ringera from International Peace Initiatives, Kenya. The topic was “Inside Out”, referring to how our words can impact our futures.
International Peace Day
In collaboration with Jacqui Daukes, Initiatives of Change UK, Teohna Williams, Business Plan for Peace and Elizabeth Laskar, The Oxford Human Rights Festival, Creators of Peace UK held an online open panel discussion. There was a passionate conversation around the importance of women in peace building, collaboration and working on the fertile edges where new ideas and creativity can blossom. 70 people attended online from all over the UK and a global audience as well.
Supporting the launch of a brand-new Creators of Peace programme
Creators of Peace International launched - ‘Advocating for a New Story - A New Conversation Guide’. The Guide was launched in collaboration with Creators of Peace UK where speakers from Australia, UK/ Nigeria and UK/Egypt spoke about our shared humanity. The event was in collaboration with Creators of Peace UK, Creators of Peace International, Initiatives of Change UK, Initiatives of Change International and the Oxford Human Rights Festival based
at the Centre of Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University. Between August and December the UK hosted the first groups to experience the guide welcoming 18 participants online who led the discussions together. The programme will be part of Creators of Peace UKs strategic plan for 2021 onwards.can be freely downloaded by anyone wishing to run it.
We partnered with University of Birmingham to deliver expert academic training
The Cadbury Centre at Birmingham University invited IofC UK’s expert academic trainers to be part of the delivery team for the Faith Leader Training Initiative (FLTI). FLTI seeks to empower faith leaders with the confidence and knowledge to meet the changing needs of their congregations. The programme was developed following direct consultation with faith leaders and as a key aspect of the Government's Integrated Communities Action Plan. We drew upon our expert knowledge in trust building and dialogue to deliver four modules across two cycles of the programme, and in four UK locations. The graduation of the first cycle took place at the House of Lords which provided a great opportunity to celebrate the value of peer learning support and the new relationships formed with other faith-based organisations and influential individuals. This includes Dr Andrew Davis, Professor of Public Religion at University of Birmingham, and Dr Maryyum Mehmood Teaching Fellow Associate Director, Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion.
Sustainable Communities Programme Anchor
Sustainable Communities Programme
Engaging in some of the most pressing issues affecting society is the primary focus of the Sustainable Communities Programme.
Mental health and Youth Empowerment
Following the start of the pandemic, it was well reported that mental health, especially among young people was at an all-time low. The Nottingham team in collaboration with the Sustainable Communities programme organised an inspiring and thought-provoking event to address mental health and youth empowerment under the theme of 'Rise Up' in August. Over 80 people participated in the two-hour online session. Dr Rosena Allin-Khan. Shadow Minister of Mental Health and a former Caux scholar gave the keynote speech. She spoke profoundly of the impact that IofC has had on her life. A full report on Rise Up was published on the IofC website,. To mark World Mental Health Day a follow up event to Rise Up was organised: “Rise Up Together”. Key statistics point towards an increase in mental health struggles, especially among the youth, due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the overwhelming amount of data fuelling the need for a solution, Rise Up Together was held to support the conversation on mental health and to support youth in developing tools for resilience. At the event speakers and musicians on ways to overcome situations and circumstances that can be damaging to mental health.
World Refugee Day 2020
The Sustainable Communities programme hosted their fourth annual event to mark World Refugee in June. It was organised in collaboration with the(ICERAS). The panel of speakers drew much inspiration and deep reflection from this year's theme ' Imagine a Better World'. Lord Alfred Dubs gave the keynote speech urging the government to re-think their policies concerning unaccompanied child refugees.
Interfaith Week 2020
With the support of the Nottingham team and ICERAS the Sustainable Communities programme delivered an online event in celebration of Interfaith Week. Five inspiring leaders, all under the age of twenty-five, from different backgrounds, representing all faiths and none, addressed a lively audience of over 60 people under the title of 'Hope - A Youth Perspective'. There was also music by professional singer songwriter, George Balkwill from East London.
International Human Rights Day
In collaboration with the(ICERAS), the Sustainable Communities programme hosted “Youth Voices for Human Rights”. Youth leaders gathered virtually on Thursday, 10 December to voice concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on human rights. The panel of four speakers spoke about their concerns on rights abuses that range from refugee rights to homelessness. With over 50 people attending from six different countries, the event brought together diverse perspectives from both the panellists and participants.
Watch our recording of the Rise Up Event:
Our Vision Anchor
Can you imagine a society, every sphere and sector of this society, equipped with the tools, perspectives and commitment to see a world remade?
Where the have and the have-nots, the included and excluded, the powerful and powerless in communities and organisations come together
to build trust across divides.
Where we allow listening to The Almighty, The Inner voice and other sources of inspiration to usher in change as we navigate the complexities of life through the universal standards of honesty, unselfishness, love, and purity...
Our vision is to...
Take One Step Anchor
The world wants
Our Take One Step campaign was launched this year to encourage each and every one of us, globally, to do something differently – something that will make us feel good, and help to make a small change to the world around you.
The campaign is based on IofC UK’s belief that we will change the world, but one step at a time. It is by making small changes in our own lives that we will make big changes together.
Now, more than ever before, it is vital for us to contribute to building stronger, diverse communities, enjoy a more peaceful, equal society, build a sustainable planet, and support an ethical global economy.
That’s why we are asking people to Make a Pledge - one small improvement to help our beautiful fragile world a little less fragile.
Why not take a pledge with your family, friends or neighbours? The more people that take part, start conversations and join together, the bigger
the change will be.
Initiatives of Change UK relies on the generous voluntary donations to be able to focus on our initiatives that works towards building trust and reconciliation, strengthening communities and developing ethical leadership.
Our London centre is also available to hire for events and conferences, and the income from which help funds our work. During 2020 our income from our London Centre was severely reduced because of the pandemic.
Our Finances in 2020:
In 2020, we received a total of £1.06m which enabled us to spend over £1.6m on the activities described in this review. The generosity of previous donors has enabled IofC to build upon endowment funds, the income from which helps cover administration costs. These charts show a summary of our finances. The summaries of income and expenditure on this page are for illustration. They are derived from the audited accounts to 31 December 2020 of The Oxford Group operating as Initiatives of Change UK, charity number 226334 registered in England and Wales. The Report and Accounts for 2020 can be downloaded from our website.
We would like to thank all our volunteers and donors who have made our work in 2020 possible. Thank you for your support and trust. We would like to acknowledge the generous donations from the following:
•The Late Robin Carol Sarsfield-Hall
•The Late Mr James Cecil Buckman
•The Late Catherine L Phillimore
•Irene Prestwich Trust
A gift makes all the difference
Help to support individuals and teams working to build trust, strengthen communities and develop ethical leadership. Our work relies on the generous donations of individuals who want to make a difference in the world and believe that the longest journey starts with a single step.
By making a donation now you can help equip people who are prepared to start the process
of change within their own lives and use their experiences to support their communities.
Leave a legacy
If you would like to support our work now and in the future, you can choose to leave a legacy to IofC.
A legacy is a strong and valuable way to show your connection to our work and our values, and it will help us to continue with existing programmes or fund new programmes that bring people together across divides – wherever they are in the world. Please contact us via our website if you would like to know more.