The CONTACT Programs (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures)
CONTACT 2012 in Brattleboro, Vermont - USA
In 1997, Karuna Center founder and Senior Fellow, Paula Green, initiated the CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) program at the School for International (SIT) Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she is a Professor of Conflict Transformation. Over 1,000 peacebuilders from more than 80 countries around the world have enhanced their knowledge and training in conflict transformation through SIT CONTACT programs, and Karuna Center program staff and Peacebuilding Associates have been actively involved.
CONTACT currently offers three programs:
The Summer Peacebuilding Institute: Every June, this 3-week institute at the SIT Vermont campus offers a rich learning environment for professionals from around the world to increase their skills in conflict transformation and exchange best practices. A two-week core course is followed by electives such as peacebuilding and development, training for social change, and leadership and community building.
Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation: This one-year program, led in partnership with Karuna Center, builds on the summer institute and includes two semesters of web-based distance learning, a field seminar in a post-conflict country (currently Rwanda), independent study, and a practicum project. Certificate students accumulate enough credits for half a MA degree, which some then complete at SIT.
CONTACT South Asia: CONTACT South Asia was developed by Paula Green to establish collaborative cross-border relationships within South Asia that will contribute to conflict transformation, sustainable peace, and increased development. Held for two weeks each December in Kathmandu, this program explores regional challenges and forges new bonds between participants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
CONTACT French West Africa: In 2009, Karuna Center piloted a CONTACT program in French for the countries of French West Africa. This program is currently not active.
Quote from a Pakistani participant in CONTACT South Asia:
"For many days I have been wondering why anyone didn’t think of such a program much earlier with such an unequivocal impact across cultures, and we lost years and years in contemptuousness and bitterness of internal/external conflicts and mistrust. As I look back at my professional career of almost four decades as a trainer/resource person in hundreds of workshops in Pakistan and abroad, I admit that the CONTACT South Asia program was the best interactive exposure of my life."
CONTACT South Asia
Karuna Center for Peacebuilding 447 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 USA Office: +1.413.256.3800 Contact us
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