Peacekeeper Amandine Roche's life changed after she met with the Dalai Lama at the age of 18. Following this meeting, Amandine studied human rights and wrote her political science thesis about the Panchen Lama, the youngest prisoner in the world to be kidnapped by the Chinese.
The second life-changing event took place in September 2001 when Amandine was invited by the Taleban in Afghanistan before the American bombings. Afterwards, she decided to come back and commit herself to the country. Since 2001 she has worked and lived on and off in Kabul. These experiences compelled her to pursue the path of peace building and conflict resolution.
Amandine's peace building efforts focus on developing education, media awareness, human rights, gender equality, and youth empowerment as a means for attaining non-violence.
She has worked internationally as a peace building consultant for over ten years.She has consulted with the United Nations Department of Peace keeping, European Commission, UNICEF, UNDP, and NDI in Asia (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, East Timor, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal), Africa (Togo, Rwanda, Kenya, Angola, DRC), Europe (Armenia), and South America (Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Jamaica).
Amandine is a reporter, photographer, the author of four books, and three documentary films. Amandine learned photography in Himalaya with the World Press photographer Olivier Föllmi. Her photographs have been exhibited in many galleries and festivals, published in several books, and featured in numerous publications including Paris Match, National Geographic, Terre Sauvage, Le Point, Le Monde, Femme, SIPA Press, and UN-EU websites and reports.
Her first book Nomade sur la voie d'Ella Maillart (Arthaud-Payot) on the footsteps of the Swiss adventurer received the French Society of Explorers Award. Then, Amandine joined a scientific car expedition from Paris to Kabul which was narrated in a book and a documentary, Paris-Kabul (Hoebeke). In Afghanistan, she worked for two years as the head of the UN Civic Education program in Kabul region to encourage women to take their place alongside men at the polls; her diary about this extraordinary experience was published as Le vol des colombes (Robert Laffont). After the kidnapping and assassination of her colleagues in Afghanistan, Amandine decided to expand her spiritual path by studying in India, learning yoga and meditation from various spiritual masters such as Amma, HH Dalai Lama, HH Karmapa, and Goenka. La Route vers Soi (Arthaud) describes her journey in India together with five spiritual leaders who incarnate inner peace and preach the message of non-violence.
As part of her ongoing peace building mission, Amandine has created the Amanuddin Foundation which works to promote the message of non-violence in Afghanistan. With Cameron Alborzian, an Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation practitioner she is implementing the Solayoga project in Afghanistan, presenting these yoga and meditation methods of healing to street kids, schools, police, soldiers, former Taleban and Afghan detainees in anticipation of the 2014 withdrawal of international troops.
She holds an MD in international relations and an LM in political science (France), an MA in human rights and international humanitarian law (Spain), and has also formally studied media and international development (Italy) Gender Mainstreaming (USA), peace education (Costa Rica) and Non violent communication (France).
More info on www.amandineroche.com.