Rural Development

Fred Zufferey always had a vivid interest in discovering other parts of the world with a genuine desire to meet different people and provide assistance to  those most in need. Inspired by some of his relatives who spent their lives in Africa, he followed in their footsteps and worked for 16 years in various parts of Africa, initially as a volunteer with church sponsored self-help projects, like building bridges, roads, schools, small farmers cooperatives, community gardens, etc.

An initial five years experience in rural Zambia incited Fred to specialize in rural and community development with an overseas focus. Upon his return, he enrolled at the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Alberta (Edmonton), where he graduated in 1980 with an M.A. in Community Development.

Armed with fresh skills, Fred decided to embark in new ventures with the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) in Botswana, where he conducted agricultural surveys in rural communities and co-evaluated programs of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Extension Services. This led him to join other Botswana-based programs, such as the First Communal Area Development Program of the Land Tenure Centre – University of Wisconsin, where Fred worked as Senior Researcher, and the National Survey on Family Health and Family Planning of the Westinghouse Power Corporation’s Health Systems, where he acted as Field Coordinator.

After five years with CUSO, Fred continued working as a consultant with various agencies such as:

  •  The Briefing Centre – Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Ottawa.
  •  The UNICEF’s Evaluation of the Ghana Expanded Program on Immunization(EPI)
  •  The World Bank’s Population, Health and Nutrition Sector Review – Ghana
  •  The World Bank’s Future Health Needs Study of the Gabarone Region – Botswana
  •  The Black Foot Tribal Administration, Gleichen, Alberta, Alcohol Treatment Centre Feasibility Study
  •  The Kenya Water for Health Organization, Assessment of Development Needs and Training Design
  •  The World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS Contraceptive & Virucide Services Assessment in Guinea Conakry.

Health Promotion

After these amazing experiences, Fred felt the need to somehow re-grow some roots. He eventually settled down in Toronto with his wife, where he spent nearly a decade as Health Promotion Coordinator with Community Health Centers and coordinated the Peel Regional Health Units Planned Approach to Community Health experimental project.

Winds of change however, started blowing with increasing vigor upon health promotion and community development approaches within government, which persuaded Fred to take a new leap from illness prevention to therapy.

Energy Therapy

Despite his main orientation toward community development and heath promotion, Fred was not entirely foreign to energy work. During an unforgettable university study tour to main land China in1978, he discovered Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong – the subtle art of cultivating and moving the Qi energy. This fascinated him so much that he was compelled to learn the art and he kept practicing it ever since.

Fred’s interest in the Qi energy brought him in contact with other energy healing modalities. His wife had the bright idea one day to offer him a gift certificate for a Therapeutic Touch™ [Link to services page] workshop. This peaked his curiosity so much that he had to find out what this was all about. In 1997, he received Recognized Practitioner’ status with the Therapeutic Touch™ Network, Ontario and since, he has been practicing Therapeutic Touch™ weekly at the Wellspring Cancer Support Centre of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

Therapeutic Touch™ training opened the door to Healing Touch [Link to services page],  a program of energy healing techniques which intrigued Fred. He decided to also take up those skills and, in 2000, he received his Healing Touch Practitioner certification.


After six years of practicing and experimenting with energy therapies, Fred’s latent desire for a holistic therapy was beginning to unfold. He felt the need to incorporate hands-on techniques to complement his energy work. At the time, Shiatsu [Link to services page] appeared to be the therapy that best integrated both energy and body-work. So, Fred enrolled at the Shiatsu School of Canada program and graduated with a Shiatsu Diploma in 2003.

Massage also was on Fred’s mind as a potential body-work technique. He found the Chinese types of massage in particular, to dovetail rather nicely his Shiatsu. This persuaded Fred to take the Wu Head Massage course and subsequently a Certificate in Tui-Na [Link to Auxiliary Methods page] massage from the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto.

Vibrational Medicine

Fred’s pursuit for a more Holistic Therapy took yet another step. He gradually noticed that, at times, despite repeated efforts, body-work and the other energy techniques he commonly used, were not bringing significant improvement with certain conditions. These appeared to have a common thread: they were all chronic and very debilitating, testing negative in virtually all tests, and with a strong emotional component underlying the physical condition. It almost felt that those issues were better addressed from an emotional angle rather than with body-work.

And so, the search was on again for possible ways of addressing those conditions through the emotional body rather than the physical. Eventually, Fred discovered BEAM Therapy (Bio-Energetic Emotional Access Method) [Link to services page] –  a powerful technique for clearing unprocessed emotional trauma which he learned and practiced since 2004. Fred’s latent desire for a holistic therapy was gradually coming to fruition. Body-Mind Wholeness was becoming a reality.


After eight years of Shiatsu, Fred felt the need to refresh his Eastern medical knowledge and thought a good way to do this might be to take up Chinese acupuncture. This was indeed reconnecting him with his initial interest in the Qi energy and refreshing the theories and foundations of Eastern Medicine used in both Shiatsu and acupuncture alike. So, Fred enrolled in the SSC Acupuncture Institute Acupuncture program on a part-time basis and graduated with a Diploma in Acupuncture (1900 hours) in February 2011.

Personal Tidbits

Fred was born in a tiny alpine village of French speaking Switzerland. In his young years, he lived the old traditional nomadic way of life, moving with livestock and belongings according to the seasons between the high mountain homes and the lower plains in the Rhône valley where vineyards, bees and orchards had to be tended. Evidently traveling and being constantly on the move was already part of his early life.

Fred seems to have some natural facility with languages. In his native region, he was speaking the local French dialect like most residents at that time. Later in high school, German became mandatory for all French speakers and Fred chose English as the third optional mandatory language. In his African period, he also learned Cibemba in Zambia, and in Botswana he was said to be fluent in Setswana.

Back home he spent half a year as French teacher with the Ecole Caron and later, after his Health Promotion period he coordinated for almost one year, the Alpha-Amicale’s French literacy program for the Durham Region.

Fred enjoys skiing and mountaineering and the outdoors. He likes gardening, growing things and has a reputation of being a great cook.