• Ari Nicholas
• Carla Bluntchli
• Djalòki
• Janet Bauman
• Marie Nicolas
• Père Michel Exalant
• Pierre Godmèze
• Pierre Richard Pierre
• Brett Fairbairn
• Brian Burch
• Ian MacPherson
• Nick Driedger
• Onès Fleuristin
• Alious Pierre Joseph
• Aricia Fleurimond
• Cassandre Jérôme
• Benoit-Pierre Laramée
• Hénri Petiote
       
 
 
  Biographies




Ari Nicholas,
Cultural historian

Ari worked for years as a community organizer in Haiti and is married with two boys. He is an everyday, 'modern' Haitian who passionately shares his people's history and hospitality through his work with DOA/BN, an alternative travel organization, of which he is co-founder.


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Carla Bluntchli,
Cultural historian

Carla is an American who came to Haiti in 1985 to work with a small development agency, and spent six years living in rural Haiti. She is co-founder of DOA/BN a group providing cultural seminars and orientations to visitors to Haiti to help them better understand Haiti's cultural, economic and political realities.


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Djalóki,
Cultural historian

A political activist and scholar, Dja lives in Haiti and has long been involved in sharing the history and culture of Haiti. Dja is also a member of DOA/BN, an organization providing historical and cultural seminars and guided tours in Haiti.

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Janet Bauman,
former director, Productive Cooperatives Haiti

Janet grew up in Canada, but has spent much of her life in the South--six years in Sudan and has lived in Haiti since 1994. She speaks Kreyòl fluently and is passionate about new situations and new people. She believes deeply in working to strengthen the cooperative movement in Haiti and is committed to the ideals of participatory, sustainable development. Janet served as Country Manager of productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH) for six years.

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Marie Nicolas Lundy,
Educator and development worker

Marie Nicolas is the field supervisor of literacy programmes for productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH). She works helps to train literacy trainers and spends much of her time in the rural community of Fon Batis. She is a thoughtful, passionate woman who believes in the innate dignity, capacity and intelligence of Haitians. Daily, she encourages her fellow Haitians, women in particular, to develop their abilities and fulfil their potential.


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Père Michel Exalant,
Priest


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Père Michel is a Roman Catholic priest in Carrefour, an hour's drive from the heart of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Père Michel has spent many years working with literacy programmes with the Catholic Church in Haiti. He is also an active member in a thriving cooperative. He currently serves as the chair of the Advisory Council of productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH).


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Aricia Fleurimond,
Co-op member

Aricia, 48, lives in the mountain village of Delpeche, where she farms beans and corn. In 2002 she paid the 75 cent membership fee to join her local Cooperative. Through the co-op she makes use of the literacy program where she has learned about increasing crop yields, compost and taking inventory. Previously she could only pen her name, and now she can write letters to her brother in a nearby town. She is a bold woman, who once challenge a co-op leader over mismanaged funds, a brave move that lead to him not being re-elected . She has eight children, four girls and four boys, half of whom are in school.


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Cassandre Jérôme,
Agronomist

Though raised in the city of Port-au-Prince, Cassandre developed a real passion for rural Haiti during her summers spent in her fathers village. She studied agronomy at University and spent her internships living in different rural communities across Haiti. Her first placement was in Léôgane at the age of twenty-seven, a young woman working among older male farmers, but she never felt out of place. Cassandre has worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, CARE and currently productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH). She works with local community workers to promote sustainable farming. She is fulfilling a childhood dream of using agronomy to help restore Haiti to productivity.


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Pierre Richard Pierre,
Literacy program coordinator

Pierre Richard is nationally renowned educator. Trained by the Jesuits, it was first through the Catholic Church that he was involved in Literacy. In 1986 he became a driving force behind Misyon Alfa, a transformative campaign that sent thousands of volunteers, mostly students and youth, into communities across Haiti to teach adults to read and write. As coordinator of member skills with productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH), he coordinates a unique adult literacy program.


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Pierre Godmèze,
Community organizer

Godmèze is a community organizer in the mountain community of Fon Batis for productive cooperatives Haiti (pcH). Godmèze, a former journalist for the National Radio in Port-au-Prince, left journalism to work for pcH.   He employs his jovial, gregarious nature in advocating for education and community empowerment in Haiti.


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Brett Fairbairn,
Director, Centre for Cooperative Studies.

Brett is the director for the Centre for Cooperative Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Brett has acted as a consultant and government volunteer in the cooperative sector. His grandparents were farmers, wheat pool members, and active in their local co-op association. Through all this, he gained an appreciation for the ways in which cooperatives naturally and almost effortlessly integrate into community life.


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Brian Burch, activist
Canadian co-op member Brian Burch, a Canadian, has been actively involved in the co-op movement since his first encounter with a food-buying club in the Ontario town of Sault Ste. Marie in the 1970s. For him, cooperatives provide an alternative to meet human needs that validates and reaffirms the notion that the individual matters. In addition to being an associate pastor of a small parish, he is actively involved with the co-operative housing  and worker cooperative movements, and is currently involved in housing conversion projects to provide permanent housing for those currently homeless.


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Ian MacPherson,
Director, British Columbia Institute for Cooperative Studies

Ian first experienced cooperatives when his father, a Prescott-area farmer and salesman, visited the manager of his local cooperative. He has published numerous books and articles about the history of cooperatives in Canada and was involved in amending the International Cooperative principals.


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Nick Driedger,
CEO Mennonite Savings and Credit Union

Nick is the Chief Executive Officer of the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU), a Mennonite-founded credit union based in Ontario. The MSCU has 13, 750 members in Ontario, with branches in Kitchener, Waterloo, Elmira, Milverton and Leamington. Their mission is to effectively meet the financial service needs of their members in a manner that is consistent with the values of their Anabaptist faith community.


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Onès Fleuristin,
Director Co-operative St. Anne, Haiti


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Onès is the Director of Cooperative St. Anne, the oldest credit union in Port-au-Prince. Established in February 1951, Cooperative St. Anne has over 4, 000 members. Onès has been the director for the past three years, having worked with credit unions in the Artibonite valley with the Canadian organisation Development International Desjardins.


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Alious Pierre Joseph,
Community leader and co-op member, Haiti

Alious lives in the community of Fon Batis, a richly agricultural area nestled in the mountains of rural Haiti. He is a community leader, and President of the Kalwi Cooperative.


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Benoît-Pierre Laramée,
Canadian Development worker


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Benoît-Pierre is the Director of the Unité d'Appui au Programme de la Co-opération Canadienne, UAPC. Previous to working in Haiti, he was Regional Manager for Western Africa. He understands the importance of diverse approaches to international development. To him, development of basic needs, economics, and human rights are all inextricably interconnected.


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Hénri Petiote,
Director of the Haitian National Cooperative Council

Hénri Petiote is the director of the Haitian National Cooperative Council (CNC), based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Having worked on the establishment and operation of a housing cooperative in Montreal, he now commits his efforts to the cooperative movement in Haiti. The CNC, established in 1981, promotes the Haitian cooperative movement in Haiti and abroad, as well as providing training, advocacy, and supervisory support for cooperatives currently active in Haiti.



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