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The Manchester based Cariocca Education Trust in England, was re-launched recently, as the Louise DaCocodia Education Trust, to honour one of its founders and community stalwart, who died earlier this year.
The Trust was set up in June 2001, with the objective to tackle the educational underachievement of young people of African-Caribbean heritage, by supporting the African-Caribbean community in schools, colleges and higher education. It has successfully delivered projects for young African-Caribbean persons making their first steps into higher education.
Mrs. DaCocodia was a Former Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Manchester, and was also a well-known campaigner for social justice. She moved to Britain from Jamaica in the late 1950s and spent most of her life in Manchester, where she was a Justice of the Peace, a non-executive member of Manchester Health Authority and a member of the Hytner Tribunal, set up to look into the causes of the Moss Side riots. She was also a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and a Lay Canon.
Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, said it was fitting that the Education Trust would now bear Mrs. DaCocodia’s name.
“She was a woman for the time in which she lived, breaking new ground to open paths of promise for those who followed. She dared to challenge the orthodoxies, the stereotyping and the prejudices of the day. She was passionate about her people and about the causes which she championed, but polished and professional in her dealings with people. It is fitting therefore, that this Education Trust in which she played such an integral part, should now begin to bear her name,” Mr. Whiteman said.
The High Commissioner also commended members of the Trust and encouraged them to persevere.
“I want to encourage you to persevere. I know you will prosper. I am confident that you will help to turn around many of the attitudes and the conditions, which inhibit minorities, but especially Black people. People must, through empowerment and development, take responsibility for their success and prosperity. Despite the wrongs of slavery and past injustice, nobody owes us anything but ourselves. We are equal under God and no human being is beholden to, or inferior to any other. But opting out of British education, competence in speaking English, accepting good old time Caribbean discipline – none of this is really cool for an ambitious youngster, and none of it will bring success or satisfaction,” Mr. Whiteman said.