Human Library
Next Event: To be announced

Human Library

What's Trust Got to Do with Migration?

Caux 70 anniversary 2016 EN logoIn 2016 the CAUX – Initiatives of Change Foundation marks 70 years of trustbuilding. This year, trustbuilding is more relevant than ever: with migration on the rise, individuals from different walks of life are led to encounter one another.

These encounters can often lead to confrontation, mistrust or simply indifference. They can also lead to enriching encounters. How to build trust to transform those unlikely encounters into enriching ones is what this Human Library is all about, linking the personal experience to a global phenomenon.


Human Books of our latest event

University Library in Bern/Switzerland (25 Oct, 2016)

Bawélé Tchalim is Programme Officer at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Bern (Switzerland). He has an extensive experience in Refugee Status Determination, refugee protection, diaspora empowerment, human smuggling and assistance to migrants with a particular focus on vulnerable migrants. He holds a Master Degree in Law. 
Bawélé Tchalim is a Togolese citizen. He took his positions in Switzerland in 2015 because he was looking for new challenges both in his professional and personal life. This change was particularly enriching. In fact, not only did he discover a very different working environment, but he also had to insert himself in a new social fabric and understand what being an expatriate means. 



Ahmed Al-Dbei, Human Library, Bern
Ahmed Al-Dbei is from Yemen. He supported the opposition government in Yemen and was forced to move to Saudi Arabia on an emergency visa with his family. He came to Switzerland in 2015, with the support of an NGO, to attend the Human Rights Council at the UN in Geneva. After revealing information about Human Rights Violations in Yemen, he was unauthorized to return to Saudi Arabia to his wife and son. He is currently in Switzerland on an N permit awaiting a decision regarding his case. This has been the case for a year now and therefore he cannot volunteer, work, or study until his status changes.




Hassan Hawar, Human Library, Bern
Hassan Hawar fled Syria to avoid military service and lived in Turkey. In Turkey it was economically difficult to survive as Syrians are paid less than Turks, are sometimes not paid at all or are dismissed without notice and without pay. He then decided to make the journey to Europe by land and sea and arrived in Switzerland in 2015 with his sister. He then received refugee status and was able to study German to pursue studies in Switzerland. His parents still live in Damascus.




Vithyaah Subramaniam, Human Library, Bern
Vithyaah Subramaniam is the daughter of a Tamil refugee who came to Switzerland in the 1980s. She grew up in Emmental where she had to find a balance between her parents’ culture and Swiss culture. She then pursued studies in Migration and currently works in the asylum sector. She believes it is her duty and ability as a second generation migrant to share her experience and help to make sure others also have a positive story of migration in Switzerland to tell.






5 human books shared their personal stories of migration and interacted the Swiss public.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 17:30

Don't miss the next Human Library event taking place on 25 Octobre, 2016 at 17:30 at the University Library in Bern.

What’s trust got to do with migration? This is one of the questions answered by human books who participated in the Human library event organized by CAUX-IofC at the United Nations library in Geneva on 11 May 2016.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 -
16:00 to 17:30
Human Library cropped 2016

Come discover our human books at the UN library in Geneva with an introduction by Cornelio Sommaruga!

Wednesday 29 July was an exciting day at Caux as the Main Hall turned into a Human Library where people were books telling their personal stories of change, which created inspirational energy among the 300 participants. Moreover, a journalist from the French TV channel TF1 filmed the various activities of CATS 2015.

On the evening of August 2nd, the Main Hall in Caux was turned into a library… Made of human books. So, what is a ‘human library’? And why did it happen during the ‘Learning to live in a multicultural world’ conference?