Billimoria Roshan

After being out of contact with CIE for many years, Roshan reflects on her journey since leaving CIE below.

And there were those blessed ones that pointed the way: Dwight Allen sitting in our living room in tiny-town, Panchgani - India, who invited me to be part of the excitement of building this world of my dreams; Dave Evans and George Urch, who gave me the once-over before I joined the Montague House clan(1970) and then continued to inspire and guide me by their example - long, long after I had left the fold for adventures elsewhere; Arthur Gillette who in essence handed me a compass (which I use every day) and who introduced me to the joy and fulfillment of working with the United Nations. And the many CIE colleagues through the 1970’s that were my family, and my rooted-ness through the ‘long time passing…’ since then.


While with CIE in the 1970s, along came opportunities to be on the Founding Committee of the U.N. University; to consult with UNICEF and UNESCO; to work on and co-author a study undertaken by the International Council on Educational Development on Non-formal Education. And to spend seven years in rural Denmark with farmers, fishermen, home-makers and mayors; small-town advocates and activists, who were interested in shaping a more sustainable future for themselves by inviting experts in alternative energy (solar, wind and bio-gas) from  so-called ‘developing’ nations to help this little wind-swept corner of the ‘North’ gain from the rich experience and technical know-how of the ‘South’. A variation on the traditional North-South flows of development assistance!


My involvement with the United Nations continued through the ‘80s, 90s and beyond – as non-governmental representative; as Coordinator of The Women’s International Dialogue; as Chair of  the United Nations Conferences of Nongovernmental Organizations and as Chair of the Executive Committee of NGO’s (the people’s voice) at U.N. headquarters. Among some of the highlights – participating, close-up and first-hand, as an NGO Representative at the Reykjavik Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev (October 1986) and serving as Convener for the Earth Day Summit in the U.N General Assembly Hall (April 1990).


Over the years, I have continued to serve as resource-person and liaison with Indigenous Elders and community leaders and networks, in latitudes North and South: including collaborative efforts with  the Inupiat in Kotzebue, Selawik and points further North in Arctic Alaska who wished to consult with their Hopi counter-parts in Northern Arizona regarding language-loss, at-risk-youth, archival challenges and inter-generational opportunities; as well as conflict resolution and non-violent ( including at-times, non-verbal) empowerment among the nomadic Mrilinga and Yalta Aboriginal communities in The Southern Bight of Australia who were embroiled in intense and violent struggle over land-rights and related incursions into their respective, life-giving ‘dream-time’ totems.


The above— were accompanied by various and sundry stays, long and short, in rural Belize; the altiplano of Peru and Bolivia; and among the citizens of both Irelands.  My small contribution was focused on engendering development-indicators that value and nurture the well-being of communities and peoples; that hold precious—the web of Life around us. And that sustain the authentic Self, in the face of today’s cross-roads and challenges. I hold meaningful my sojourn this time around. And enjoy home among the red rocks, ancient lava flows and starry skies of Northern Arizona. [5/08]




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