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Mehulbhai Dabhi- Bohol, Philippines (English)

Greetings of peace love and Justice!

I am very glad to be part of the International Training for Peace.

With Loucille my wife and Francois, our 4 year old.

My name is Mehulbhai Dabhi, youngest son among three boys born to Catholic parents Kantibhai and Nirmalaben 36 years ago in Gujarat state in India.  I have been  married 6 years to Loucille, a Filipino. We are blessed with our four-year-old son Francois. We have been residing in Bohol for the last two and half years.  I am qualified as Attorney in India. I am now working as a Research Associate and as  faculty at the University of Bohol.

Over the last 15 years I have been working in the social development fields with different movements, CSO networks, non-profit organizations and institutions nationally and globally. In my earlier work with (NCDHR) based in New Delhi, India for the EIDHR programme under European Union, one of the major responsibilities I carried was to train and coordinate the team of researchers, Human Rights Defenders and heads of the CSO. I served as the National Programme coordinator for this joint south Asia regional programme with Nepal and Bangladesh. It was indeed very meaningful to work among young leaders coming from marginalized communities, training them, enabling them in using the justice delivery system and available human rights mechanisms.

With my parents and brothers

My early childhood experiences shaped my ideological, intellectual understandings. Seeing my mother working for underprivileged women in my town deepened my career aspirations in the filed of social transformation. After completing my graduation in financial management,  I got engaged with students and youth movements aimed at education for all and discrimination free educations. To strengthen my knowledge and capacities I studied law. I worked for legal awareness and legal education programs targeted at marginalized and vulnerable communities. In the year 2007 I was elected as the President of International Movement of Catholic Students IMCS PAX ROMANA based in Paris, France. Here I had opportunities to meet and learn from experiences and stories of people from across the globe.

It has been an incredible journey for me to work with youth across many countries and cultures. Every experience while facilitating training, whether with European youth Foundation in Strasbourg, UN Study Session in New York, Global Learning session in Senegal or now with university students in the Philippines, has helped me grow as a learner and enabler.

These days I have very similar weekdays days due to a set schedule. I get up, prepare for the school and office and go to work in the office.  I go to the classes and be with students in their learning process. I organize and attend meetings, programmes.  When I am home, I give my full attention to our son. I try to spend as much quality time with my kid.  I like to read some books before bed or watch some videos. Weekends are the days for community I am part of. I attend the breakfast meeting, join the ministries and mass services.  Also on weekends I write short write ups on current affairs for the youth group back in India.

I’ve faced deep adversity, religious and caste discrimination and uncommon blows in my life. Even today seeing my communities in India suffering the most inhuman forms of discrimination, torture and untouchability practices, I see myself working for them. I joined all those who want to build society based on equity and human dignity.

With a 90 year old social activist and community leader from India

What I have learned working among communities is my ability to turn my wounds into wisdom, my pain into power and my defeats into stepping-stones for greater confidence, performance, and helpfulness. Community Leaders have taught me to invest in my personal and spiritual growth instead of chasing worldly triumphs. As I dedicate myself to building a better society for the marginalized and downtrodden my life becomes better.

Well, what I value in a friend is mutual love and respect.  Someone who can help me seek the truth even when I don’t want to see. Someone or something, which can make me understand my role in this world. When current world realities are reduced to people’s perceptions, it has become more important to seek the truth and I see friends help me to attain that.

What gives me hope is the solidarity we share globally. It is a group of people who come together and affirm that peace is possible. When I meet people who turn indifference and struggle into friendship and committed service that gives me hope.  I am very eager to meet you all and join in your efforts in making this world a more sustainable and peaceful.

In Solidarity,

Mehulbhai Dabhi