Who We Are

We're a Canadian charity working globally to end poverty and inequality. We're sharing skills to build stronger futures.

Our bold vision and mission

Our Vision is a world where all people are able to realize their potential, develop their skills and participate fully in society.

Our Mission is to reduce poverty and inequality through the efforts of partners, donors, and volunteers.

The values that drive us

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We believe in the power of people. We employ a people-centered approach to development and the challenge of overcoming poverty and inequality.

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Respect and Integrity

We value diversity. We recognize and care about the rights and dignity of others. We strive to live up to our commitments, to be fair and transparent in our work, and to act consistently in applying our principles.

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We take responsibility for our actions. We seek to achieve and inspire excellence. We are dedicated to continually drawing from our experience, sharing knowledge and applying it to improve our work.

What we do

We develop programs that tackle poverty and inequality so all people can thrive. Our efforts are focused on building inclusive societies for women and girls, improving economic opportunities, increasing access to education and enhancing maternal and girls’ health. By connecting global communities in need with the skills required to create lasting change, our impact continues to grow long after a project’s end.

Our story

Since 1961, Cuso International has undergone a number of changes to become the organization we are today. Almost six decades on, we are still anchored by our vision to create a world where all people are able to realize their potential, develop their skills and participate fully in society. We do this by working with our organizational partners to develop and deliver programs that tackle poverty and inequality. For certain projects, we connect communities with skilled volunteers who share their knowledge to build lasting and positive change.

Cuso was created by a group of Canadian university graduates on June 6, 1961. They had a vision of a more connected world. A world where the social constraints people are born into wouldn’t dictate the entirety of their life.

These young people took a great leap of faith, rallied hundreds of other young graduates across Canada and founded Canadian University Service Overseas. Each young volunteer took their role as a Canadian “ambassador” very seriously as they filled skill gaps in developing countries as teachers, nurses and agriculturalists.

Over the next few decades as these early partners became the educators, health care professionals and natural resource managers, Cuso shifted its focus to tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality. Today, we work with our partners to amplify their impact in their communities to advance gender equality, increase access to education, develop economic opportunities and enhance women and girls’ health. Cuso International is a registered charity in Canada and the United States.

Meet Our Team

Board of Directors

  • Lucie Edwards


    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • Darrell Gregersen


    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

  • Justin Winchiu


    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • Jeff Cates


    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

  • Grant Curtis


    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

  • Zahra Esmail


    Vancouver, Ontario, Canada

  • Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams


    Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • Alejandro Jose Terrones


    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • Rosemary McCarney


    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Gabriela Polanco-Sorto


    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Wayne Robertson


    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

  • Lori Spadorcia


    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Rob Turpin


    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


  • Nicolas Moyer

    Chief Executive Officer

  • Laurie Buske

    Director of Resource Development

  • Eileen Melnick-McCarthy

    Director of Communications and Marketing

  • 'Bomi Awesu

    Head, Global HR

  • Yvette Macabuag

    Director of Program Quality and Impact

Invest in a more prosperous tomorrow

Your support helps more people access skills and create opportunity to end poverty and inequality. Brighter futures start with you.