Feature Story

Coady Listens and Learns in India and Nepal

Mary Coyle - Director of the Coady International Institute

Our work at the Coady International Institute focuses on teaching and studying development that works.
In November, St. F.X. President Dr. Sean Riley and I traveled to India and Nepal with ten Canadian community leaders to meet with Coady graduates and partner organizations.

It was inspiring to observe their work and celebrate their success. We visited the Self Employed Women's Association in India which provides banking services, financing and education to over one million women.

We traveled to Nepal to see a community health clinic, which began as the vision of a Coady graduate who put his thesis into action when he returned home. Today his organization is expanding the health clinic into a 51 bed hospital.

I encourage you to read the perspectives below. These personal observations illustrate how the Coady International Institute's graduates are making a difference in so many lives. As our Canadian leaders note, it has made a difference in their lives too.

Paul O’Regan – Halifax
Paul is the President of O’Regan’s Automotive Group


  Harold Redekopp – Toronto
Harold is the Chair of the Coady Advisory Committee and a former CBC Vice-President
It was very encouraging to see the positive attitude of the women at the SEWA Bank in Ahmedabad. We spent a fair bit of time there. When you enter the building there is a bank downstairs and a classroom upstairs. The work the Coady graduates are doing to educate the local women about money, savings and credit is incredible.  Read more...   We began our tour in Ahmedabad, India, the headquarters of the SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) Bank which has had a 10 year relationship with Coady and its graduates. Founded in 1956 by Elaben Bhatt as a trade union of poor, self-employed women textile workers, SEWA is currently the largest union in the country with around 1.1 million members.  Read more…

Velma Harasen - Regina, SK Cecile Miller - Cape Breton
Velma is the President-elect of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada and Cecile is the 2nd Vice-President and Chairperson of Education and Health with the CWL

  Colin and Irene MacDonald – Calgary
Colin is on the St. F. X. Board of Governors and a partner in the Calgary office of Borden Ladner Gervais. His wife, Irene, teaches school in Calgary and writes this report:
We first visited SAHAJ Community Hospital which had a pharmacy, doctor’s office, X-ray room, referral services, an OPD, and an emergency room. Plans are underway to add to the facility and build a fifty-one-bed hospital. This hospital is the result of an independent study done by a student from Nepal when he was a participant at the Coady in 2002.  Read more…   I think of Jayshree Vyas, SEWA Bank's Managing Director, and her work with the Coady. That organization is proving hope and a future to so many women and their families. The Coady people there are the backbone and the strength of these organizations.  Read more…

Susan Crocker and John Hunkin – Toronto
Susan is on the St. F. X. Board of Governors & Coady Advisory Committee. Her husband John is the former CEO of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.


Kevin Peacock and Adrienne Peacock – Montreal
Adrienne is a former member of the St. F.X. Board of Governerors and attended the trip with her son Kevin. Kevin had this report about his experience in India and Nepal:

This was a special opportunity to see the Coady graduates at work. The situations they are operating in are diverse, touching a wide range of the development spectrum.

Read more... 


Harnessed passion and positive momentum is the closest I can think of to sum up the overall take away from the experience.