Board of Directors
Lorna Pitcher, BA., LL.B. B.Ed. – Founder and President
After her March Break visit to Lira in 2007 Lorna, a former lawyer, retired from teaching and founded Ugandan Orphans Fund (the predecessor to Children of Hope Uganda- Canada). She promised the original 43 orphans she met in 2007 that she would try to get help for them on her return to Canada. Lorna takes great pleasure in speaking to school groups, church groups, Rotary clubs, and holding sales of the beautiful paper-bead jewelry, baskets, and sewn crafts made by caregivers of the beneficiary children. She is happy to be still keeping that promise, for the past 8 years and counting.
Dr. Francis Akena Adyanga, PhD
Francis’s personal experience and his expertise in reintegrating war victims through education in northern Uganda make an invaluable contribution to the COHU Board of Directors. Francis grew up in northern Uganda and has visited the COHU schools in Barlonyo on trips to Uganda from his home in Richmond Hill. Francis earned his PhD at the University of Toronto in 2013 after earning his B.A. and B.Ed from Makerere University, Kampala and his M.A., Sociology from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at U of T. His Master’s thesis was on “The Catastrophe of Education in Civil War areas, Uganda”. In 2006 and 2007 he received training from Save the Children, Uganda in child protection policy, project proposal writing and good governance and management. In 2006 Francis was a Teaching Assistant at Gulu University, Faculty of Education, and served as Program Co-Ordinator for Gulu Development Agency, a Ugandan NGO.
Mary, a Quaker from London, Ontario, spends half of each year in Uganda and visits the project regularly to monitor progress. Mary has been following the development of the school Income Generating Activities at Barlonyo Technical and Vocational Institute. She was proud to preside at the January, 2011 Graduation of the first graduates of the COHU tailoring class and to award a treadle sewing machine to each of the 57 graduates. Mary was the honoured guest on November 27, 2012 at the 2nd BTVI Graduation Ceremony, the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre and the Graduation of the first ECDC young graduates to Primary 1.
Alex Lozano – Treasurer & University of Toronto Club Co-President
Alex first supported COHU as a member of Upper Canada College’s Entrepreneurial Club in 2010. He is graduating from with a Chemistry and Physics double major from Trinity College, University of Toronto and continues to work on building the website and shop while providing technical advice. He is currently Co-President of the COHU university of Toronto chapter that puts on a variety of events and charity sales throughout the year. Alex was elected to the board of directors in January 2013 and appointed as COHU’s treasurer in March 2014.
Chase McNabb – Social media
Chase McNabb became involved with COHU in September 2011. He will graduate from University of Toronto in 2015 with a double major in African, and Peace, Conflict and Justice studies at Trinity College, He visited Uganda in August of 2011, volunteering at a local HIV/AIDS orphanage and rural schools for a month. In May 2014 he visited the project and used his photography skills to record the Barlonyo schools in pictures published in the February 2015 Photographers Without Borders magazine. Chase is the U of T COHU club Co-Presidents and is in charge of social media marketing and looks forward to continuing to spread the COHU story to university and high school campuses.
Chris Lozano – Web Development
Chris became involved with COHU with the Entrepreneurial Club at Upper Canada College, where he participated in the sales of the hand-made Ugandan products. Now at U of T studying molecular and cell biology, Chris uses his tech knowledge to maintain and update the COHU website and to create COHU e-newsletters.
Jeffrey Wortsman, MBA, LL.B. – Advisor, Canada
Jeffrey is the President and CEO of Danier Leather Canada, the founding and continuing funder of Barlonyo Technical and Vocational Institute and Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre. Jeffrey’s initiative and drive have created the thriving campus which is now the heart of this community in Barlonyo which suffered so badly at the hands of the LRA on February 21, 2004. His financial advice is much valued and his compassion has truly changed so many lives. He received his MBA and Bachelor of Laws degrees from York University and a BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
Sharon Gusz – York Catholic District School Board Liason
In June 2014, Sharon retired from her Teacher-Librarian position after 33 years with the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB). She was introduced to COHU by Opiyo Oloya, YCDSB Superintendent in 2011 and began telling the COHU story to many schools in Markham region. Sharon travelled to Uganda with Lorna Pitcher in October, 2013 and formed lasting friendships with Esther Atoo and Stella Auma, Principal of Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre. Sharon continues to devote many retirement hours sharing her COHU Powerpoint presentations at YCDSB schools. The new Library at Barlonyo ECDC is a result of Sharon’s tireless efforts.
Ethan Way – U of T International Development Studies Intern
Ethan is doing an outstanding job as the invaluable COHU intern. In August 2014 Ethan began his cooperative learning placement as part of his 5 year degree course in International Development Studies at University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. He completes his 10 month internship in June, 2015 and will be sorely missed by Esther Atoo and the entire Ugandan team. All have come to rely on Ethan’s training in organizational management and governance to see improvements in all administrative and financial systems. The Canadian team continues to appreciate his excellent monitoring reports.
Cayleigh Murtaugh – Photographer and volunteer
Cayleigh and her husband, Patrick were on a year-long sabbatical in Africa from their Toronto teaching jobs when they volunteered at the project for 5 weeks in June/July 2012. They worked alongside Esther Atoo , COHU’s Ugandan Director and COHU Uganda Board member, Solomon Adiyo, to update accountability reporting systems. Cayleigh’s and Patrick’s photography skills are evident in the offline catalogue and elsewhere on the COHU website.