Michael Vaughan-Cherubin, a PeacePlayers International Fellow in the Middle East since 2006, ended his time with the organization last month. Below, Karen Doubilet, PPI’s Managing Director in Israel and the West Bank, explains what Mike meant to the organization.
The month is October, and the year is 2006: I (the 5 ½ feet tall new Managing Director, resembling a miniature) is greeted by three towering American basketball players, who were serving as full-time Fellows in the Middle East program. I should have been intimidated, maybe even frightened, but a bubbly exuberant giant named Michael Vaughan-Cherubin immediately assuaged my fears. At 6 foot 5 inches tall, he was hardly intimidating. I was immediately impressed by his charisma, intelligence, leadership, and, most of all, by his extraordinary ability to make you smile.
Immediately, Michael stood out as an initiator. The Jerusalem Peace League and Leadership Development programs are among the initiatives to his credit. However, what cannot be summed up on paper or in words are the relationships that Mike has built in the communities where we work: from children, coaches, teachers, principals, to the cashier at the local grocery store, Mike surely made an impression on everyone he interacted with. A team of PPI girls even threatened to quit when they heard that Michael was leaving. That won’t be happening, but even the thought speaks volumes.
Michael lived, ate, slept, and breathed PPI – ME for more than three years. He has been an inseparable part of the face and the soul of the organization. He always put PPI first — and I know that it was exhausting, but I also know that it reaped the greatest of rewards. Because of this, Michael can move on knowing that he made an indelible impression on thousands of children, coaches and their communities in the Middle East.
We wish Michael the best of luck in his future endeavours, and are certain he will be successful in whatever path he chooses. However, wherever he is in the world and wherever life takes him, Michael Vaughan-Cherubin will always be a PeacePlayer!
-Karen Doubilet, PPI – ME Managing Director
Everyone at PPI would like to echo Karen’s thoughts, and thank Mike for his inspiring service to our organization. Good luck, Mike!