Finding the Rhythm

Going back to ‘school’ was a whole new experience. Arrived at the Coady International Institute in the small, skyscraper free, Nova Scotia town of Antigonish at 8.30am on 23 September 2013.

The Coady International Institute, established by the St Francis Xavier University, opened its doors to students in 1959. It is a world-renowned centre of excellence in community-based development and leadership education; committed to breaking down and transforming the North/South divide by bringing Canadians and people from the global South together to exchange innovations and learn from each other.

The Institute was named in honour of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady, a prominent founder of the Antigonish Movement – a people’s movement for economic and social justice that began in Nova Scotia during the 1920’s.

My first day started in the Desmond Oval room where we gathered for registration. The scene was a mass of vivid colours and myriad conversations in accents and languages from around the world. There were folks from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia, Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The excitement and expectation was palpable and I was enthused by the prospect of working with this international gathering.

After meeting many interesting voluntary organisations, foundations and individuals in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax I was finally here to get started on this three week course – Facilitation & Training Approaches for Community Change. After introductions and a brief orientation, we started class in a most unconventional style. To see and hear click below:

Check out this video on YouTube:

As shown in the caption below our expectations are many and range from gaining new approaches to facilitation to having fun. The course is participatory, using a range of methodologies and styles to take account of this group of learners with diverse needs.

At the end of the three weeks we will expect to have an increased capacity to bring about change in our communities as well as enhanced capability for developing strategies to assist inter-agency collaboration and networking.


I am now settled with my working group for the next three weeks and, having established group values, we have decided to call ourselves the United People.

This course provides an opportunity not only for sharing experiences in a rich and vibrant environment but also to gain new skills in facilitation and training. Furthermore, it will be invaluable in helping us to share our experiences of collaboration for change.

So why is Coady the place to be? It is warm, welcoming, creative and energising. These are just some of the words I captured from some of my fellow colleagues.



I look forward to updating you on my experiences in Montreal and Halifax.


2 thoughts on “Finding the Rhythm

  1. Pingback: Finding the Rhythm | Maureen's Sabbatical Journey 2013

  2. Pingback: Finding the Rhythm | College Ethics

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