Reflections from Sarajevo

11 October 2017, 3:32 PM

Abraham Karickam, Regional Coordinator, India, South Zone, shares reflections from the URI Global Leadership Conference 2017.


By 2020, URI would complete two decades in its unforeseen journey. By 2020, our Bishop Bill Swing would be somewhere around his 85th birthday. What better could he have achieved than this that he is leaving a legacy which is claimed by millions of peace builders around the globe in more than one hundred countries?

On many occasions people asked this question: what was the highlight for me at the Sarajevo Global Council and Staff Meeting. There are many:

  1. I have seen a well-knit organisation. We have come a long way from the 2000 Charter Signing ceremony. We are a confident community today.
  2. The youth are taking over the organisation to a beautiful second phase as was evident in the leadership given by the "Youth for Peace" CC in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was a brilliant inner circle in the room when our philosopher Phil asked young ones below 36 to come forward and receive a powerful indigenous blessing and the command they received to take the movement forward was emphatic.
  3. I could read from the bright eyes of Biff Bernard and Bob Coleman a shining future rooted in firm monetary foundations, which was radiant in the eyes of John Weiser and his team in several GC meetings in the past.
  4. I could see a mature GSO staff who knew their jobs and roles very well, captained by a seasoned Executive Director in Victor.
  5. I was thrilled by one of the most captivating speeches, which I could listen in my life, as Sally Mahe compelled us into tears and to the reality that even Sally has to take a turn at some point. We remembered Charles Gibbs and many others who were there to row us through the rough waves on our boat ashore.
  6. The regional staff around the world are simply astounding today, with many youngsters so eager to learn from the senior lot.
  7. Hats off to Isabelle & Co., who have opened before us a new horizon of stunning connections through the newly designed website. The wholesome world of URI is just a click away.
  8. Stories that we heard from Fathima and her companions will long reverberate in our ears and fill our hearts with newer mantras to carry forward our grass root mission in all earnest. You can never stop and relax when the dangers of war and terrorism loom large and dim.
  9. I have learned again that the richness of a face to face adventure can never be compensated by whatever other devises and deviant designs.
  10. No words to thank Stefan and Karen Hernandez for their stupendous efforts in bringing 99% of folks to Sarajevo. When they filled even our visa application forms for us, we knew really they were more than serious.
  11. And at last, when Victor the magician came out with the “energy ball,” we all learned how important it is for us to hold on for the magnet to work. If we are also in tune to the cosmic waves in similar fashion, we will not be that far in realising our cherished results and goals.

Adieu Sarajevo; we come more confident than before. Let the world rejoice. And the beaming smile of Guru Krish Shiv will never fade from our eyes. He reaffirmed the fact that "the child is the father of man". And his mother Kiran Bali has evolved into a better chairperson, who can triumphantly lead the Global Council to a better tomorrow.