Board of Directors
HUGGS is led by a dedicated Board of Directors which is responsible for the governance, strategic direction and management of the charity. Three Board Committees lead the development and implementation of activities in India and Canada and work with the Manager.
Nargis Abraham (PhD) retired from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (Canada) after 21 years of teaching, where she also served for 12 years as program head. She was on the Board of the Secunderabad YWCA (India), and taught at Osmania University in India. Nargis visits HUGGS Vizag regularly and takes an active interest in the students. She has volunteered with HUGGS since 2011.
Nicholas Bodie has considerable international experience, including 12 years working in the property, healthcare and education sectors in the UK and 3 years working for a Malaysian financial firm in South Africa. Nicholas spent 3 months in India in 2012, including one week at the HUGGS Study Centre (HSC), teaching HUGGS students and training them in interviewing techniques. Nicholas is currently employed with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), as Senior Real Estate Advisor. He holds a Marketing Management Diploma from BCIT, a Master’s Degree in Real Estate (UK) and is a Project Management Professional (PMP). In his spare time, Nicholas enjoys skiing, hiking, cycling, fishing and boating.
Marilyn Gullison was brought up in a town along the Bay of Bengal, and in her childhood often visited the city of Vizag, which later became the centre for HUGGS Canada. Following a career in Nursing Education and Administration, she was for some years the B.C. representative for Operation Eyesight Universal with special interest in the work in India. Marilyn was a founding Director of HUGGS Canada and has continued to be a key volunteer through the years, particularly as lead liaison with the program in India.
Helen Kline was born and brought up in India, graduating from an international school. She received an M.A. in teaching ESL from the University of Minnesota, then worked for several years in the publishing business in New York City, Chicago, and Minneapolis. She has lived in Vancouver since 1974, raising a family, teaching ESL at Vancouver Community College and UBC’s Language Institute, and also fitting in some editing on a contract basis. Helen was a HUGGS Board member from 2006 to 2012 serving as Board Chair for the latter 3 years. She returned to the Board in the fall of 2017 and will continue as Director throughout HUGGS’ 15th anniversary year of 2018.
HUGGS Canada is a registered Canadian charity, empowering youth through education in South East India. HUGGS focuses on promising young people who have the ability to excel in education, but are without the resources to study beyond Grade 10.
Thanks to our generous donors, we sponsor young people in Visakhapatnam (Vizag), to complete their secondary and post-secondary education. Students are selected based on financial need, academic ability and family encouragement.
Today more than 30 HUGGS graduates are working in their communities in careers including nursing, teaching, engineering, finance and computing.
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