The world continues to struggle with the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. As I write these words, many countries are now slowly re-opening after extended periods of lockdown, but the number of active cases continues to grow with new ‘hot spots’ emerging around the globe.

In these circumstances, international travel remains hugely problematic. In Canada, all incoming visitors and returning citizens are obliged to socially isolate upon arrival for 14 days before entering any public spaces. It now appears likely that this policy will remain in place for months to come.

In these circumstances, Coady Institute has taken the difficult decision to cancel our full program of on campus courses in the current calendar year.

The Institute had a full portfolio of exciting Certificate courses scheduled from August through November and faculty were eagerly looking forward to a return to campus of Coady participants in the coming months. However, the current reality is that we cannot be confident that candidates, once accepted into Coady courses will be able to secure visas, make travel arrangements or even attend classes once in Antigonish.

For that reason, we have concluded that the only responsible course of action is to cancel our full program of 2020 on campus courses. We sincerely regret the disappointment and inconvenience that will flow from this decision.

We also hope you are not too discouraged and will consider applying for other Coady courses in the very near future. Please visit the Institute’s website, where we will soon be posting a full menu of online courses (from September 2020 to April 2021). Full details of these courses will be posted here .

These online course offerings provide an excellent, low cost and accessible opportunity to engage with Coady staff and fellow development workers around the world as we build our skills, knowledge and understanding in different aspects of community-based development. In the coming month we will also be posting on our website the Institute’s 2021 program of on campus courses, with projected start-up next May.

As we are not able to carry forward application files from one year to the next, you will be requested to submit a new application online for other courses of interest. We apologize for that inconvenience.

In closing, let me simply re-iterate our great disappointment at not being able to welcome you to Antigonish this year.

In the meantime, we wish you all the very best in responding to this unprecedented crisis. We hope everyone keeps healthy and is able to reach out and support the most vulnerable in your communities. It is in such times of crisis that the forces of social solidarity must be strongest.

Yours sincerely,
Anthony Scoggins
Director, Education Programs
Coady International Institute

PS.  Let me also invite you to visit our webpage where we share updates on how Coady alumni are working with communities to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are many wonderful stories there of strength in adversity!