E1-S2 From Tears to transformation with Robi Damelin

Summary & Key Takeways

Born in an affluent household during Apartheid South Africa; Robi was always a free spirit who loved and rescued animals from an early age. Robi moved to Israel, raised her children and had a successful career in Public Relations. In 2002, a Palestinian sniper killed her son David. Robi soon joined The Parents Circle where she travels the world alongside Palestinian and Israeli bereaved families speaking about reconciliation and peace. Find out more about Robi’s career in Episode 1 of the Social Change Career Podcast.

Listen to Robi here

Want to catch up? Binge on Season 1 here 

If you like the episode please subscribe to get future ones on STITCHER, ITUNES or GOOGLE PLAY or your favorite podcast app.

Please also take a minute to subscribe, rate the podcast and share with others.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Growing up in Apartheid South Africa as a privileged person in a liberal household
  • Her lifelong passion for animals and how she stole a horse at the age of 5
  • How her uncle defended Nelson Mandela in the first treason trial
  • The influence of the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission (and how it prevented what could have been a terrible blood bath)
  • How she came to Israel in 1967
  • Robi moved to Tel Aviv with her kids David and Eran
  • Robi opened a PR office and did that for many years
  • The knock on the door (when soldiers informed her of the death of her son David)
  • How her life is her mission not work
  • The importance of working on the ground for real insights
  • How her PR work informed her work with The Parent Circle
  • Remembering David as a Philosophy of Education Masters student
  • How Robi found The Parents Circle to help prevent other families from experiencing this pain
  • Find something that gives meaning to your life
  • Robi’s first meeting with other bereaved Palestinian families and discovering the shared pain
  • Robi’s work with The Parent Circle
  • Robi in London with Tina Brown “Women in the World”
  • Robi’s story of Bushra : a story of transformation from hatred
  • Busha’s trip from a tiny Palestinian village to NYC and her love for hamburgers
  • How Bushra and Robi spoke to 3,000 people in NYC, then Delhi, London and Canada spreading a message of reconciliation and peace
  • Robi’s meeting with black bereaved mothers of police mothers in Atlanta
  • Robi’s lunch with a mother of Sandy Hook and how she is preparing to speak with a mother of the Columbine massacre
  • Robi’s next project
  • Robi’s advice on how to be a meaningful academic
  • Robi’s career advice
  • Robi’s take on failure
  • Three things for a career of social impact according to Robi


The Parents Circle

Sandy Hook

Joan B. Krock Institute for Peace and Justice

Women in the World

Georgetown University

Encounter Point

Another Side of Peace

One Day After Peace

Two-Sided Story


Become a member of the PCDN Career Campus to get daily access (to job opportunities) community (network with other impact professionals); learning with sector-experts and receive guidance from PCDN Career Coaches. 

The fully funded Rotary Peace Fellowship increases the capacity of current and emerging peace leaders through academic training, field experience, and professional networking. Up to 100 leaders are selected globally every year to earn either a master’s degree or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies at one of six Rotary Peace Centers at leading universities around the world. Applications go live in early February and the application deadline is 31 May.
Our Podcast
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram