COPA National Team

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Randa Meshki, MSW

Executive Director

Randa has been with COPA National since 1996 and was one of the first people trained in COPA National programming. She was the provincial coordinator of the TÉÉ program for 10 years before she stepped into the role of Executive Director.

Randa believes that COPA National's vision and mission complete her personal principles - not only with regard to children’s rights but with respect to all marginalized groups in society – a vision fundamental to COPA National.

She is passionate about employing COPA National's concept of empowerment to rebalance power in society and elevate human rights.

Randa holds a Master's in Social Work from Laurentian University.

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Céline Duguay

Assistant Director

Céline has worked closely with COPA National since 1996 in a variety of capacities.

 

She is a strong advocate for social justice and a champion of the rights of children and those vulnerable to discrimination and violence. She promotes positive change through education and building the capacity and resilience of individuals and communities.

Céline is also a mother of four, and very involved in her community, including roles in several groups that support families and youth.

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Kathryn Penwill

Kathryn Penwill is one of the co-founders of COPA National. We are very fortunate to have her on board to develop new programs and outreach materials. Drawing on her many years of experience at COPA National, she creates resources that are consistent with COPA National's values and vision.
 
Kathryn believes passionately in the right of children and all people to thrive and live in safety, strength and freedom.
 
As she says, "I am so happy. I am honoured to be at COPA National. Working in such a respectful and collaborative environment and having the chance to contribute to such important work gives me energy and immense joy."

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Yollande Dweme Pitta

Director of TÉÉ program

Yollande was president of COPA's board from 2018-2021. Her passion for the mission, vision, and work of COPA National prompted her decision to withdraw from this role in order to devote herself to the success of the TÉÉ program.

An extraordinary achiever and lifelong activist, Yollande is a teacher and psychotherapist, a researcher, and a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. 

She is also a tireless supporter of and committed advocate for the Francophone community in Ontario.

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Anne-Sophie Ruest-Paquette 

Anne-Sophie is both a facilitator at COPA National, and also responsible for research and fundraising.

She is committed to improving the quality of life of people and populations in vulnerable situations and is delighted to put to good use at COPA National the knowledge, skills, and attitudes she has acquired as a volunteer, employee and university graduate, and also as a Franco-Ontarian girl/woman, a survivor of multiple violence and a pansexual person living with an invisible chronic medical condition. Anne-Sophie is a model of resilience and an advocate committed to reducing the occurrence and impact of violence in Canadian society.

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Lynn Hadley

Lynn is the coordinator of COPA National's assault prevention programs. She worked with COPA National for 10 years in the TÉÉ program, and served on COPA National's board for 3 years.

Lynn brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise gained from years of coordinating and facilitating 

workshops for educators, parents, and youth.

She believes that everyone has a role to play in making the world a better place for people to feel safe, strong and free, and that it's important we all work together to end discrimination and violence in our communities. Together we can make a difference.

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Louis Kdouh

Married with three children, Louis is a computer engineer, a teacher, and past president of the national organization CNPF (La Commission Nationale des Parents Francophones).
 

He sits on several committees and boards of directors to promote the voice of Francophone parents in minority communities.
 

Louis is an ardent defender of the rights of children and people vulnerable to discrimination and violence. This is why he believes so passionately in the mission of COPA National, where he holds various positions, including that of public relations officer.

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Nahomie St. Pierre

Nahomie is a facilitator at COPA National, and she holds a diploma in Social Service Work.

 

She believes it is very important to prevent aggression by sensitizing children, youth, and adults to the impacts of aggression and offering them the tools they need to assert their rights. 


Nahomie is the mother of a little girl and wants to participate in creating a better world for her and for all the other children of the world. 

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Mohini Athia

Mohini is COPA National’s Director of Special Initiatives. She helps develop and coordinate programming, resources and projects outside of COPA National’s traditional services offered in French. As part of this role, she supports COPA National's multiple initiatives to ensure First Nation, Métis and Inuit children, youth, families and all adults are seen, heard, respected and centred in education.

Mohini's longtime commitment to social justice aligns with COPA National’s unique approach to human rights and the right for all to be safe, strong and free.
 

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Sidonie Barsalou

Sidonie is a program facilitator at COPA National. She graduated from Dawson College in Community Recreation and Leadership Training with a certificate in Peace Studies. One of her main motivations for facilitating COPA National workshops is to invite people to rethink gendered socialization, especially in the context of traditional youth education.

She strongly believes that community care and prevention services have the capacity to empower youth and give them the tools to reach their full potential in a safe, strong, and free environment. 

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Shahla Lafeer

Shahla is COPA National's Social Media Coordinator. She comes to this work with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a diverse set of skills and experiences.

She sees her work as leveraging 

COPA National’s social media to bring communities together and build strong allyships where everyone feels accepted and supported. She believes it is very important to prevent aggression by sensitizing children, youth, and adults to the impacts of aggression and offer them the tools they need to assert their rights. 

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Marcelline Bararufise

Marcelline is an administrative agent at COPA National. 


A resilient francophone immigrant, she has a degree in Social Services Work. She firmly believes that change begins with oneself, continues with the community, and finally with the law.

 

Marcelline is a committed activist for gender equity, the defense of children's rights, and the care of orphans, and women and children who are in vulnerable situations or victims of violence. 

Marcelline is also a mother and a grandmother.

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Jocelyne Bond

Jocelyne is a multi-talented person who ensures that COPA National’s office runs smoothly.

 

A Franco-Ontarian, she has had many roles in diverse communities. She is a tireless promoter of COPA National values and believes in the right of everyone to be safe, strong and free. She is passionate about supporting the rights of children and seniors and deeple committed to the cause of preventing violence against women.

 

Jocelyne is proud to say that her own children have benefited from COPA National programs.

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Kouamé Denis Ahué

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Eugénie Fontaine

With a master’s degree in public health from Laval University, Eugenie's primary commitment is to promote the health and well-being of women and youth. She strongly believes that education with the support of policy is the key to achieving gender equality.

This is why  being an Assault Prevention Program Facilitator at COPA National is an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of societal issues, deconstruct knowledge, and rebuild with a new, more egalitarian and diversified understanding so that everyone can feel strong, safe and free in their daily lives.

Denis is an agent of support for the TÉÉ program at Copa National.

He is passionate about social justice and a strong advocate for minority rights and inclusion. He has many years of experience in the social integration of disadvantaged populations and has dedicated a great deal of time to specifically supporting youth and their families. His background is in Social Service Work and Police Science.

Married and a father of three, Denis’ perspective of society is one of harmonious co-existence in which everyone has a role to play in strengthening the social fabric of Francophones in Ontario.

He is glad to work with COPA National, and to be part of a strong team dedicated to the prevention of all forms of aggression so that people feel safe, strong and free.

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Béatrice

Beatrice is a program facilitator for COPA National. Originally from France, she has dedicated her entire career to helping children with special needs in schools. She came to Canada with her husband and two daughters, initially to fulfill her husband's dream, but mostly to give her daughters the chance to expand their educational and life opportunities globally. For nearly five years, Beatrice has been working with families to provide support in the areas of education, settlement and parenting.

 

When she discovered COPA National, she knew she would have the opportunity to provide the entire community with the tools to make the justice system more equitable and to reduce the vulnerability of youth, women and minority populations. Beatrice is following her dream to make a difference in people's lives.

Board Members

Roza Belai (interim president)

Roza Belai is a lawyer by profession   She speaks French, English, Arabic, and Berber, which is her mother tongue. She has a passion for community work and has been involved in a number of causes, including women's and children's rights.  

 

In Canada she has been deeply involved in the issue of violence against women and children, and this for her, is only a continuation of what she has always done in her native country. She is also passionately dedicated to promoting the rights of the Francophone community across Canada.

Mireille Salem

Alain Kazadi

Collaborators

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Liane Bellemare Alessi

Liane Bellemare Alessi has worked with COPA National since 2005 as a copy editor and translator. She is an integral part of our team, and has throughout these years ensured that the quality of our work is excellent. She has dedicated herself to ensuring that COPA National’s vision and mandate are beautifully articulated. Her attention to detail and generosity of spirit is precious.

Liane is a long-time advocate for people with intellectual challenges and physical handicaps. The work she does for COPA National aligns closely with this work and her vision of social change. Liane is a wife, mother, and devoted grandmother.

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Michael Schmid

Michael is an Information Technology consultant and Web Developer specializing in security, server administration, development and CMS customization and deployment. His preferred clients are NGOs and other organizations that exist primarily for the betterment of society and awareness of important social issues.

 

Michael has been acting as a consultant for COPA National for many years, ensuring that COPA National’s digital resources are functional and accessible. Michael is a key member of our team and given COPA National’s strong online presence, we are grateful for his tremendous expertise, collaborative nature and generosity.

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Betsy Thomas

Betsy has worked in various roles at COPA National since 2015, including social media, content writing, website creation, and planning.

 

She is a mother and grandmother, and the founder of Bummis, a cloth diaper company that she led for 27 years. After this, she acquired an MA in Organizational Development (Human Systems Intervention) and is now a consultant specialized in facilitating collaborative and sustainable change.

In all her work with COPA National and in fact, with all clients, Betsy strives to model the values of COPA National.