Our Focus

Improving opportunities for youth

We're increasing employment opportunities for youth by working with employers, entrepreneurs and individuals.

Youth are the key to a brighter future

People are more resilient when they have access to well-paid, meaningful employment. Youth, particularly young women, face immense barriers to the labour market yet they are vital to ending poverty and inequality. This is why we focus on sharing skills and mentoring programs so youth can succeed and communities can prosper.

Why youth matter


of youth globally are unemployed. We are working with employers and governments to create more inclusive workplaces, address barriers faced by vulnerable groups and implement inclusive hiring and employment standards and policies.

0 in 5

youth globally are not employed, in school or receiving training. This can result in higher rates of long-term, generational poverty. We are working with youth to increase access to education, entrepreneurship through mentoring, business management, hands-on instruction and access to start-up resources.


of all young workers in developing countries are informally employed and have little to no job protection. We work with vulnerable populations to recognize their social and economic rights. We provide hands-on training, education opportunities and employment support so people are equipped with the tools and information they need to succeed.

Projects That Work

We collaborate with youth, private sector businesses, governments, civil society organizations and others to create inclusive and sustainable opportunities in the areas of employment, entrepreneurship, natural resources management and food security.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Honduras

Women and other vulnerable populations face greater barriers to employment and higher rates of discrimination when it comes to economic opportunities. Cuso is partnering with communities and the public/private sector to provide business development training, inclusive hiring training, and workshops to build a more resilient business and entrepreneurial environment that works for Honduran women.

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.

Creating opportunities for Young Refugees in Nigeria

Since 2017, thousands of Cameroonians have fled their country to seek safety, stability and a better life in Nigeria. The project is providing life skills training, access to start-up capital, entrepreneurship and technical skills for refugees in agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

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 Colombia. 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 support of the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada, its donors and supporters.


Invest in youth

Your support helps reduce poverty and inequality by improving access to sustainable economic opportunities for youth. A brighter future starts with you.