Our Focus

Harnessing the Power of Volunteers

We're building a more prosperous and inclusive future by connecting communities in need with skilled volunteers.

People helping people

Sharing what you know is one of the best ways to address the development needs of our time. That's why for close to 60 years, we've connected communities with skilled volunteers to advance sustainable and lasting change. This approach has benefited millions of people in more than 100 countries around the world while helping to end poverty and build opportunity.

Why volunteering matters

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Sustainable Development Goals call for long-term change in attitudes and behaviours to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change by 2030. Skilled Cuso volunteers work with our partners in developing areas to grow their impact within their communities so everyone can flourish.

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Cuso volunteers have worked with hundreds of our partners in more than 100 countries since 1961. Through skills sharing, our partners and volunteers benefit from new perspectives and ideas, fostering change abroad and at home in Canada.

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months is the average length of a Cuso volunteer placement, ensuring our volunteers really get to know the community and people they work with. This fosters a richer understanding of the cultural context and a chance to build long-lasting impact.

Projects That Work

Volunteering is at the heart of several of our projects. Our volunteers are experienced professionals who focus on sharing their skills with our partners across Africa, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Canada’s North to create long-term change.

Tackling Poverty through Canadian Engagement

Our vision of a world free of poverty means everyone has a role to play. Our highly skilled volunteers advise and consult with organizations in developing countries to make real and lasting impacts. With an emphasis on gender equality and the goal of reaching 1.8 million people over the next seven years (2020-27) in Benin, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Honduras, Jamaica, Nigeria, Peru, and Tanzania, our Volunteer for Development Program will send Canadian volunteers to help our local partners advance the Strategic Development Goals.

Working with Indigenous Youth in Northern Canada

Cuso volunteers work alongside Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories to address low graduation rates, improve education outcomes and promote truth and reconciliation with non-Indigenous citizens. Our Canadian Program also seeks to remove barriers to online learning among First Nations, Métis and Inuit secondary school students.

Creating Opportunities for Migrants and Victims of Conflict in Colombia

An unstable social, economic and political environment has been challenging for Colombians seeking steady work, especially for Venezuelan Migrants. In addition to strengthening the ability of local municipalities to design and implement inclusive employment programs and policies, Cuso staff and volunteers are helping with skills training, technical workshops for small business owners, and diversity training for private sector companies. In 2019, our project was named most innovative in Colombia by the Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance through the Government of Canada.

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Invest in lasting results

Your support helps reduce poverty and inequality by connecting communities in need with skilled volunteers who provide long-term support. A brighter future starts with you.