November 24, 2003 by

Sharon Capeling-Alakija

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Categories: Misc.

scapeling.jpgSharon Capeling-Alakija, the executive coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers program, died on Nov. 4 from cancer. She was 59.
Born in Canada, Capeling-Alakija earned a degree in education from the University of Saskatchewan, then joined the Canadian University Service Overseas, a volunteer organization that provides technical assistance to governments and educational institutions. She spent 20 years with the CUSO, teaching and fundraising in the Caribbean, Tanzania and Togo.
From 1989 to 1994, Capeling-Alakija served as the director for the U.N. Development Fund for Women. She spent three years as the head of the U.N.’s Office of Evaluation and Strategic Planning in New York before she was promoted to executive coordinator of the U.N. Volunteers program.
“Ms. Capeling-Alakija was a deeply committed and creative leader of United Nations Volunteers, which promotes volunteerism, sends some 5,000 United Nations Volunteers into the field every year and is often described as the ‘human face’ of United Nations development efforts,” stated U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The staff at the U.N. in Bonn planted a red maple tree in her memory.

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