Kingston, Jamaica – Cuso International, together with partners, beneficiaries and volunteers, officially launched its Volunteers for International Cooperation and Empowerment (VOICE) program in Jamaica on November 23, 2015.

“Today we launch a new and serious undertaking in partnership with Cuso International, and we are very proud to be a part of this,” said Anna Borgognoni, Senior Advisor at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) of Canada.

“Volunteerism is a foundational Canadian value and an integral part of every society,” added Vivian Gray, Senior Advisor at DFATD. Gray highlighted Cuso International’s contribution to improving the lives of poor and marginalized people in Jamaica, namely by promoting youth development and inclusion, civil society participation in governance reform processes and access to justice.

In Jamaica, where more than sixty percent of the population is under the age of thirty, highly skilled volunteers and local partners will work together on projects to support skills and vocational training to improve youth employability, enterprise development and financing, as well as promote gender equality and social inclusion. Local partners include the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, the JN Foundation and the Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers, a non-governmental organization aimed at creating sustainable employment for women within the rural agricultural sector.

“Cuso International’s commitment to inclusive partnership is what provides a solid framework for supporting local partners and strengthening their capacity,” said Roberta Ellis, Program Manager for Cuso International in Jamaica. “These partnerships unleash powerful social and economic forces that mobilize people and their communities into action, creating meaningful and sustainable impact.”

As Cuso International’s primary international program, VOICE will improve the economic and social well-being of poor and marginalized communities in targeted countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

VOICE contributes to Canada’s commitment to promoting sustainable economic growth, access to health services, and gender equality and social inclusion around the globe. The five-year program is made possible with support from the Government of Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).

Cuso International is a non-profit international development organization that works to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality around the globe. Each year we mobilize hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive lasting change. Established in 1961, Cuso International is a registered charity in Canada and the United States.  

Jennifer Buter, Communications Officer
613.829.7445 x244