CPT INTERNATIONAL: Merwyn De Mello appointed as CPT Co-Director

13 September 2011
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Merwyn De Mello appointed as CPT Co-Director

Christian Peacemaker Teams is pleased to announce the appointment of Merwyn De Mello to the position of CPT Co-Director, along with Carol Rose, starting in January 2012.  

De Mello brings a wide range of international and administrative experience to the position.  He grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and Mumbai, India.  In Japan, he worked as an immigrant rights advocate and community organizer to change policy for asylum seekers.  In Tanzania, he co-coordinated projects in thirteen refugee camps on Tanzania-Rwanda-Burundi borders and developed community education programs on advocacy and peacebuilding.  At the Institute of Peace, Leadership, and Governance in Mutare, Zimbabwe, he designed and taught courses in Transitional Justice and Trauma Healing, Peacebuilding, and provided coordination for peacebuilding strategy development in Harare, Zimbabwe.  More recently, in Mumbai, he coordinated programs for promoting honesty, transparency, and accountability in governance.  He currently works as the Recruitment Manager for Maryknoll Lay Missioners.

De Mello writes,

I have a deep regard for the essence of CPT’s mission and vision—the nonviolent and compassionate witness to God’s love in solidarity with communities that bear the painful impact of physical and structural violence.  My life and ministry continue to call me to be a humble testimony to nonviolent compassionate solidarity and it is no coincidence that the CPT co-director position comes to my attention at this juncture…

My faith expression is manifested in my desire to serve those who are violated, marginalized, or oppressed.  This is a fierce call to action—an urging that I cannot and do not ignore.  This calling leads me to continued reflection and reexamination of my lifestyle—a willingness to give from the abundance of what I receive and to live simply…  This path has urged me to take a step further, to live, and work among the oppressed.  I found an answer to that urging through my service as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner where, for the last fifteen years, I worked in Japan with asylum seekers and the homeless, in Tanzania with Rwandan, Burundian and Congolese refugees, and in Zimbabwe with victims of political violence.  It is largely the foundational teachings of liberation theology and Catholic social teaching—Jesus’ doctrine of justice and compassion —that shape and root my personal peace and justice calling.

 A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, De Mello currently lives with his wife Kirstin in Ossining New York.  They plan to move from Ossining to join CPT work based in Chicago.