CPLP 2017
Caux Peace and Leadership Programme


Sorry, applications are now closed! Stay tuned for 2019!




What is the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP)?

This experiential learning programme combines three vital elements of the peace process: studying the theory of peace, leadership and dialogue and hearing from activists from around the world; exploring and practising the values and principles of Initiatives of Change (IofC); and, for half of each week, applying these lessons in practical service to each other and those attending the Caux Forum. The programme runs twice each summer, for a month during the Forum.


What are the session dates for 2018?

Session 1: Arrival 22 June 2018 (afternoon) – Departure 19 July 2018 (morning)

Session 2: Arrival 15 July 2018 (afternoon) – Departure 11 August 2018 (morning)




How to apply for the programme?

Applications 2018: Sorry, the web platform is now closed.


Who is eligible to participate in the CPLP?

Anyone between 18 and 45 who cares about personal and global change and who wants to challenge themselves to make a difference is eligible for this programme.


When will I be told whether I have been accepted?

You will be informed of whether you have been accepted at least three months before the beginning of the session. 


If I am not accepted, what other opportunities are there for me to participate in the Caux Forum?

If your application is not accepted for 2018, this doesn't mean we are not interested in your profile. We receive many applications and have to make hard choices.

You can still come to the conferences as a participant or follow them online via our website, Facebook or Twitter.


What is the process once my application has been accepted?

Once your application has been accepted, the HR department will send you a confirmation letter.

Please be sure to answer this email within 48 hours to confirm whether you can come or not.

CAUX-Initiatives of Change will contact the local Swiss employment authorities and present them with your application. They will decide whether or not you can claim authorization to work. If they accept you, they will send your file to the visa section that will process your request.

We will then provide you with an invitation letter.

With these documents you can proceed to get your visa, if you require one. Click here to find out whether you require a visa or not.


Is there a waiting list?

Candidates sometimes withdraw from the programme before it starts, so we have a waiting list. If you are on it, we'll inform you as soon as we have a vacancy.


What happens if I have to withdraw from the programme before it starts?

The procedure with the Swiss authorities costs CHF 215 for administrative fees. If this has started before you withdraw, we will ask you to cover this cost. This is why you need to be really sure, before you confirm your participation, that you will be able to come for the full session you have chosen.


Which group should I apply to?

To cater for new and returning participants with different needs, the programme has been divided into three groups. These groups relate to experience and/or familiarity with IofC.

Group 1: Introduction stream: this is open to anyone who wants to learn more about peace and leadership and to explore personal values, others' perspectives and some of the traditions of IofC.

Group 2: Application stream: this group is for those who have already taken part in a CAUX-IofC programme or a similar programme at another IofC training centre and who want to learn more and to apply these values in various departments in Caux.

Group 3: Practitioner stream: this is open to those who have participated in the CPLP before and want to develop specific skills to prepare them for a practical opportunity or project in their communities after Caux.





Why will I be under a work contract? Can I volunteer for this programme?

In order to avoid illegal employment, Swiss law prohibits voluntary work in the hotel industry. This is why you'll need a work contract with the Foundation.


What do I need to provide to apply for a work permit?

Please send the relevant documents to the HR team so that they can present your application to the Swiss authorities:

  1. a copy of your passport (valid for the period you will travel);
  2. proof of health insurance;
  3. Curriculum vitae or resumé.

Without these documents your application cannot be processed.




What is not provided by the Foundation?

Travel to and from Caux is not included, as well as any expenses you may have outside of the programme.


Does Caux offer scholarships?

We encourage applicants to fundraise to cover their costs. Some participants may be able to get funding from their universities. Others may be sponsored by NGOs, places of worship or local clubs, such as the Rotary Club. Other possibilities include crowd funding. 


Does Caux help with travel expenses?

We cannot cover participants’ travel expenses, but occasionally we can link participants up with people who can help support these expenses.




Do I need a visa?

Please enquire if you need a visa from the nearest Swiss Consulate or your travel agent.


How long does it take to process a visa?

Our experience is that it can take up to three months to get a visa, so it is really important to make your application three months before your arrival date.


Who asks for the visa?

You are in charge of applying for your visa, once your local embassy has received the green light from Bern. We will send you the proper document by email once received in Caux.


Where should I go in order to get my visa?

You can find out where your local embassy is by clicking on this link.

Please note the Swiss representations for some countries, ie:

Zimbabwe: go to the Swiss representation in South Africa

Syria: go to the Swiss representation in Lebanon

Some embassies do not deal directly with visa requests but use a travel agency. Please check the appropriate contact for your country on their website before going.


Can I arrive or leave outside the session dates?

Participants are required to arrive and depart on these dates. Some exceptions may be made to accommodate people travelling from far away but we will address these on a case-by-case basis when the applicant has been accepted. Do not book flights other than on the dates above, until you have discussed it with the HR Manager. Please be aware that full commitment and presence during all workshops and service shifts is required. Therefore, before you apply, make sure that you are available for the entire session.


Can I stay longer to visit Switzerland after the Caux Forum CPLP?

If your citizenship allows you to come to Switzerland as a tourist with no visa, you can stay longer.

If your Schengen visa has not yet expired, you can stay as a tourist with no visa extension.


Can I stay longer to visit Europe after the CPLP?

You can only visit Europe if you have a Schengen visa. If your visa is only valid for Switzerland, you can't visit Europe, unless you have arranged this beforehand with the local embassy of the country you want to visit. They will need to grant you another visa or authorization to visit Europe after Caux.


How do I get to Caux

Caux is two hours by car or train from Geneva and 25 minutes from Montreux. Direct trains run every hour from Geneva Airport to Montreux from 6am to 11pm (check exact times here). The last direct connection to Caux leaves Geneva Airport around 7pm. Please consider this when booking your flights.  Detailed information will be provided by the programme team.


When to buy my tickets?

Please buy your tickets only once you have received confirmation of your stay from HR.




Why do I have to take out international health insurance?

Swiss law requires anyone staying or working in Switzerland to have health insurance which will cover their health expenses. Health costs in Switzerland are extremely high which is why we require you to take out international health insurance.


Is international health insurance compulsory?

Yes. If you do not have international health insurance, we are not allowed to process your application through the Swiss authorities.




What is life like at Caux?

Busy! What with classes, service opportunities, participation in inspiring and topical events, meetings with interesting visitors over meals, evening activities, there are often too many great choices! Participants may also choose to sit out under the stars, go for a mountain hike at dawn, or walk to the nearby waterfall.


What will my schedule be like?

You will have training and service five days a week and an average day will look something like this:

Training might be in the afternoon rather than the morning, and service times change by department. 

09:00 Briefing and Planning
10:00 Training Session
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Practical Service/Vocational Training 
18:30 Dinner
20:00 Dialogue Training
What clothes should I bring?
The department you are supporting will determine what you will need to wear ; a good standard would be to have black trousers, close-toed shoes (especially if you help in the dining room) and white blouses or shirts.
It is up a mountain, so also bring some warm clothes; it can get chilly, especially if you trek up to the top (highly recommended!), and you should definitely bring some shoes appropriate for walking in. The lake makes for a refreshing swim when the weather is hot, so a travel towel and a swim-suit may come in handy. 
The celebration meal and photos at the end of the programme are a chance to dress up, and you might end up on stage at some point, but don't bring your whole wardrobe!

Do I need to bring a computer?

Generally, equipment other than clothing is provided for the things you will be doing in Caux departments. However, there is free Wifi and you may want to stay in touch with your family, tweet about an inspiring Forum presentation or connect with new and old friends on Facebook. There is limited access to public computers, but having your own smartphone, tablet or laptop will make it easier to go online.


Where will I stay in Caux?

You will be housed in a shared same-gender room in the Caux Palace Conference and Seminar Centre, or occasionally in a nearby house if the main house is very busy.


What are the means of transport between Caux and Montreux?

Caux is a small village located at 1’000m above sea level. To go to Montreux, by the lake, you have several means of access:

- Train

- Taxi

- Walk (be prepared for a hike on your way back!)

- for emergencies, by bus


House rules

The Caux Forum hosts an international, multi-cultural community which requires sensitivity to the presence of many cultures and generations. Therefore, we ask you to observe the following house rules:

  • Smoking is prohibited inside all buildings
  • No alcohol allowed inside the buildings
  • Recreational drugs are strictly forbidden on the premises (immediate expulsion from the programme)
  • In general, we ask you for respectful behaviour and dress code within the Caux Palace and surrounding buildings and village. You will become a host as well as a guest, so taking pride in looking after the building and the people in it is part of the experience.  Some departments may need you to bring specific clothes (like black trousers, white shirt/blouse and closed-toed shoes for the Dining Room)


Return to Caux Peace and Leadership Programme information page


Photos: Aicha Hajoui