Cuso International supporting Gawad Kalinga to support community projects

(TORONTO – Nov. 9, 2015) Canadian-based Cuso International has partnered with Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines and is currently recruiting volunteers to help this important poverty alleviation and nation-building movement expand its local projects and build opportunities for those in need.

“Cuso International is appealing to professionally-trained Filipino-Canadians to consider applying for one of these new volunteer placements,” said former Cuso International volunteer, Vicki del Prado. “It really is about sharing your skills and giving a part of yourself back to the community. It is an opportunity to serve your home country and make a small difference for the greater good.”

This is the first time Cuso International, which mobilizes Canadian volunteers to support development projects around the globe, has formally partnered with a not-for-profit organization in the Philippines. Placements are expected to begin in February 2016 and last six months to one year.

A human resources specialist (HR) by trade, del Prado completed a one-year-long Cuso International assignment in Jamaica and speaks to the positive experience one can expect from a volunteer placement. “The meaningful part of my work is the people I had the opportunity to work with and serve by sharing my professional skills and experience.  It was also an adventure because it was my first time to be in Jamaica,” said del Prado. “The experience improved my ability to collaborate with and learn from others, appreciate cultural diversity, and deal with uncertainty. It broadened my perspective about development work.”

Del Prado’s volunteer work as Organization Development Advisor for Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) Jamaica was aimed at building organization capacity. A major component of her assignment was to develop HR policies and write the Standards and Operating Procedures. She also assisted management in recruitment, and strengthened management processes and accountability by providing performance management training.

Opportunities in the Philippines with Gawad Kalinga include efforts to advance overall programming, as well as supporting key development initiatives which aim to promote sustainable growth in the Philippines. One of those initiatives is the Enchanted Farm based in Bulacan province which aims to become the ‘Silicon Valley’ for social entrepreneurs, attracting the brightest graduates and young professionals to choose social entrepreneurship as a viable and exciting career path.

Volunteers for the Philippines are being recruited specifically in the areas of HR, marketing, organizational development, finance, program development, volunteer management and school expansion. Cuso International compensates all volunteers by providing a modest allowance and covering living expenses, as well as covering travel expenses and providing pre-departure training and support.

Del Prado is encouraging others to apply for volunteer placements in the Philippines, noting that Gawad Kalinga is a reputable organization dedicated to eradicating poverty and improving the lives of millions of Filipinos. “Although I’ve already done a volunteer placement, I am also interested in this one,” she said. “It is fulfilling to contribute to Canada’s growth, but it’s always nice to spend some time to serve your home country. As a volunteer in your home country, you bring an insider’s knowledge of the culture and language, and an outsider’s eye as you share your knowledge, skills and bring a fresh perspective on finding solutions to some of the organization’s challenges. I urge you to be a part of Gawad Kalinga’s mission in giving care to five million families.”

Cuso International is a non-profit international development organization that works to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality in various countries across South East Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Each year Cuso International mobilizes hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive lasting change.

Cuso International is also working with Gawad Kalinga Canada to support Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines Ph. Gawad Kalinga Canada is a Canadian registered charity formed in 2010 to alleviate poverty by mobilizing Filipino diaspora in Canada who are dedicated to eradicating poverty and restoring human dignity.

For more information, visit:


To arrange an interview with Ms. del Prado or Cuso International representatives, please contact:
Karen Leiva, 416-937-4109