Hon. Ann Meekitjuk Hanson was appointed Commissioner of Nunavut, Canada, in 2005. She graduated from the Coady International Institute in 1975 and returned as Commissioner of Nunavut to participate in our grand opening and 50th anniversary celebrations on September 26, 2009. Her career has been diverse. She has been a civil servant, broadcaster, journalist and author. She was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.
In addition to her work in journalism, Hanson also served with the Government of the Northwest Territories as a community development worker, counsellor and Deputy Commissioner.
Comm. Hanson has spent considerable time as a volunteer, helping to start a number of organizations in Iqaluit. These organizations include the Juvenile Court Committee, the Elders Group, the Inuit Cultural Group and the Quinuajuaq Society.
In 1967, at the age of eighteen, Winston Baldwin Spencer arrived from Antigua and Barbuda to attend the Coady International Institute’s Diploma in Social Leadership. On September 26th 2009, he returned again as standing Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda to share his memories of his time at the Coady Institute and the impact it has had on his career and personal approach to leadership.
W. Baldwin Spencer has spent over quarter of a century in labour negotiations, serving in the highest positions in the Trade Union Movement and Caribbean politics. Most notable are:
On the international stage, Prime Minister Spencer served as the Chairperson of the Group of 77 and China at the United Nations in 2008. In May 2008, he also assumed the Chairmanship of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations within CARICOM (COFCOR), and the Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from July 2008.
In August 2008, Prime Minister Spencer received the Commander of the National Order of Cote d’Ivoire, which is the highest honour of this African nation, in recognition of his sterling leadership of the Group of 77 and China at the ministerial level. PM Spencer was also made an honourary Hereditary Chief by Cote d’Ivoire in June, and was given the title of Nanan Koussai II. In September 2008, Prime Minister Spencer became the first leader to receive the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedicated efforts in achieving the MDGs and advancing the cause of development.
Prime Minister Spencer attended the Grand Opening celebrations of the new Coady Institute facilities and spoke at the 50th Anniversary Gala dinner. During his visit he had a chance to reconnect with Mr. John Chisholm, former Assistant Director of the Coady International Institute, who went to Antigua and Barbuda in the seventies and worked closely with the government in establishing the cooperative registry that is still operating today.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Coady Institute Prime Minister Spencer will be launching the Prime Minister’s ‘Leadership Development Scholarship’ that will be given to a young person engaged in social development work in Antigua and Barbuda, to attend the Coady certificate or diploma course as of the 2010 academic year. This scholarship will be given annually for the next five years and will be facilitated by the Silver Jubilee Scholarship initiative established in the Office of the Prime Minister.
In his speech Prime Minister Spencer noted he was “a proud graduate of the Coady International Institute and a satisfied beneficiary of the knowledge gained in this fine institution of learning” and “… a living example of what a Coady education can do for persons who seek to persevere and live out the principles enshrined in the objectives that guide this institution of learning and knowledge sharing.”
Anemieyeseiha (Annie) A. Brisibe
Annie graduated with a Diploma in Community-Based Development in 2000. She is the President of the Niger Delta Women for Justice. Her work is centered on helping the people in her community to gain control of their natural resources and, in turn, their future. Focusing her work on issues of human rights and advocacy, she has been raising awareness about the negative impact that oil exploration has had on the health and culture of the Nigerian people. By using education as a tool for building awareness, Annie has been successful in encouraging community cooperation in the protection of the local environment. As a result of this work, there are now more women becoming actively involved in the development of their communities. She traveled to the Coady Institute to develop and enrich her skills in community development, specifically in the areas of advocacy and project planning, implementation and evaluation. Ms. Brisibe holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and Extension.
Sr. Jessy Chittilappily Devessy (Mary Sreeja)
Sr. Sreeja graduated from the Coady Institute in 1999 with her Diploma in Community-Based Development. Prior to studying at Coady she earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Sociology degree and worked for over 12 years as a social worker for a church-based NGO, Vikas Kendra. Since 1987, Sr. Sreeja has been working with poor rural people of Darjeeling. She has ventured to the remote inaccessible hills and journeyed into the lives of people witnessing political disturbances, ethnic violence and segregation. Along with a team of committed development workers she has helped organize several adult education centers, three kindergarten schools, one primary school and one agriculturally based high school, as well as many health outreach programs in the villages. As the coordinator of women's development programs, Sr. Sreeja works with the women and children of the Darjeeling District. She has witnessed changes in women as they become better equipped to handle their problems and demand their rights. Her work includes organizing and training women for empowerment through adult education, income-generating programs and community health awareness programs.
Raoul graduated in 2000 with a Certificate in Community-Based Microfinance. He is the project Manager for CARE-India in the city of Ranchi. On a daily basis he works with community members who are faced with abject poverty and limited opportunities. In an effort to strengthen his community, Raoul leads a project aimed at providing the poor with access to financial resources. Through a microfinance project initiated by CARE-India and three local development organizations in Ranchi, positive change is becoming a reality for many poor tribal households. The program is helping to increase family income and provide opportunities for women to become involved in financial decision-making. Ultimately, the project Roaul is leading encourages people to participate in the economy and strengthen their community by providing the means to invest in public utilities and basic infrastructure.
Charles Kapitapita (Diploma 2007) has been busy since his return to Malawi, organizing training for his colleagues, and members of the communities in which they work, in the areas of Appreciative Inquiry and Asset-Based Approaches for Community-Driven Development. He has also facilitated training in development leadership for community leaders.
Bishoy Lamie Mansi
Bishoy Lamie Mansi (Advocacy, 2005) was ordained as a priest in the Coptic Orthodox Church in New Jersey, U.S.A. on June 7, 2009. He also recently completed his dissertation for the Masters in Participation at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK.
Fr. Elias Gonsalves
Fr. Elias Gonsalves (Diploma, 2004) was appointed as Director of the Centre For Social Action and Srvodaya-Centre for Capacity Building (Mumbai) in the spring of 2009, where he works with the poor and marginalized in the Archdiocese of Mumbai and in the Western Region of India. He replaces Fr. Rocky Banz, also a Coady graduate (Diploma, 1991).
Pulcheria Teul (Advocacy, 2007), after working with indigenous women for more than a decade is now a Senator in Belize, and the only indigenous woman involved in Parliament in that country.
Keith Bourne (CU CERT HIST, 1980) was awarded the 2008 Silver Crown of Merit, an award given by the Government of Barbados for meritorious service or achievement in science, the arts, literature, and any other endeavour worthy of national recognition. According to the citation by his employer, the Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited, Mr. Bourne’s national recognition is due to the significant contribution which he has made to the credit union movement and the financial services sector in Barbados.