New Cuso International project supports gender equality and social inclusion for marginalized groups in the Caribbean


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OTTAWA, ON,  November 2, 2022 – Cuso International is pleased to announce the launch of its Blueprints for Gender Equality (BLUEPRINTS) Project.

Together with local governments in Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuso International will work alongside its partners to better integrate gender equality and social inclusion in policies, programs, and services with a focus on women, persons living with disabilities and the LGBTQI community.  Expected outcomes include programs and services that support income generation, prevent gender-based violence and increase access to psychosocial support.

Shellian Forrester, Cuso International Representative and Program Manager of BLUEPRINTS explains, “we will not only create spaces for women and other marginalized groups to share feedback about programs and services currently available, we will also work with government institutions to better incorporate the feedback of rights-holders in the design of future programs and services that are intended to better address their needs.”

“Blueprints for Gender Equality will help strengthen the capacity of the Government of Saint Lucia to effectively mainstream gender in national development. It will provide the much needed “how” to operationalize gender-responsive, people-centred planning in the public sector,” said Janey Joseph, Director of Gender Affairs, Department of Home Affairs and Gender Affairs, St Lucia.

Canadian gender experts will work alongside 12 country ministries, departments and agencies in the four countries to help 580 staff better understand the needs, interests, perspectives, and rights of those being targeted, while ensuring integration of gender equality and social inclusion in programming.

Train-the-trainer activities will indirectly benefit an additional 700 staff members. The program also allows for 1,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls in the four countries to directly engage and give feedback to governments regarding programs and services.

Global Affairs Canada will fund the four-year, $2.5 million project. Expected results are aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy key performance indicators, including the number of people better able to advance human rights, as well as the number of institutions better able to deliver inclusive, responsive and sustainable public service.

“BLUEPRINTS is giving voice and access to individuals often excluded from decision making and policy development,” says Nicolas Moyer, CEO, Cuso International. “We are grateful to Global Affairs Canada for funding this important work.”

About Cuso International:

Cuso International is an international cooperation and development organization that works to create economic and social opportunities for marginalized groups. Together with our partners, we are focused on efforts to advance gender equality and social inclusion, improve economic resilience, and deliver progress on climate action. We believe that by sharing skills, we can build better futures. Founded in 1961, Cuso International works in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Canada.

Contact information:

Laura Beamish