Together with our partners, staff, and volunteers, Cuso International is solving problems, implementing solutions and working toward eradicating poverty and inequality—one community at a time. Our work has touched millions of beneficiaries in more than 100 countries across four continents. In the last year alone more than 4 million people benefited from our collective efforts.

Cuso’s priorities are focused on advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls; improving access and quality of economic opportunities for young people, and engaging volunteers to help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Through the following key projects across four continents, we are advancing our mission.

Volunteers for International Cooperation and Empowerment (VOICE)

Project duration: 2015 to 2020
Target population: 17 countries on three continents: Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and South East Asia.
Objectives: VOICE is focused on achieving three objectives targetting Access to Quality Health Services (AQHS), Inclusive Sustainable Economic Growth (ISEG), and Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI):

  1. Promote greater citizen participation, ensuring that the voice of poor and marginalized people is heard and has an influence on government decision-making at the local, regional, state and national levels (AQHS, ISEG and GESI);
  2. Build the capacity of government to respond to the voice of poor and marginalized people and integrate it into their planning processes, policy development and service delivery (AQHS, ISEG and GESI) and;
  3. Strengthen the internal governance processes of our local partners, ensuring integration of the principles of equity, inclusion, transparency and accountability at the organizational level and within their AQHS, GESI and ISEG programs and services.

Youth Leadership Entrepreneurship Access and Development Project (YouLead)

Project duration: 2015 to 2020
Target population: Nigerian youth

  1. Reduce youth unemployment by improving entrepreneurial capacities (skills training, micro financing partnerships) for young women and men and;
  2. Build sustainable economic growth by identifying opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship (skills training) in natural resource sectors of agriculture, forestry, ecotourism and aquaculture in all 18 Local Government Areas in Cross River State (CRS).

Midwives Save Lives

Project duration: 2016 to 2020
Target population: Target countries - Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Tanzania -- represent four of the six countries in the world which carry 50 per cent of the world’s maternal mortality burden.
Objectives: With the goal of contributing to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in targeted regions of Benin, DRC, Ethiopia and Tanzania, the objectives are to:

  1. Improve delivery of environmentally sound and gender responsive quality respectful health services for women of reproductive age, mothers, pregnant women and newborns in target regions
  2. Improve use of quality gender responsive and environmentally sound health services by empowered women of reproductive age, mothers, pregnant women and newborns in target regions
  3. Strengthen influence and accountability of midwives, and recognition of Midwifery as a cost effective, high quality path to improved reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights in target countries

Tanzania Local Enterprise Development (T-LED)

Project duration: 2015-2020
Target population: Regions of Mtwara, Lindi, Iringa, and Mwanza

  1. Increase equitable and sustainable incomes and employment of women and men in value chains related to foreign direct investment in the extractive agribusinesses sectors in target regions (Mtwara, Lindi, Iringa, Mwanza)
  2. Enhance market-driven and gender-responsive services delivered to SMEs by national BDS organizations (TCCIA, SIDO, TWCC) and local government in target regions.

Sustainable Colombian Opportunities for Peacebuilding and Employment (SCOPE)

Duration of project: 2015-2022
Target population: Implemented in seven cities in Colombia: Barranquilla, Bogotá-Soacha,
Buenaventura, Cali, Cartagena, Quibdó and Medellín

  1. Improve sustainable, inclusive, equitable and peacebuilding-oriented economic growth for poor and vulnerable people, particularly youth, women, and victims of the conflict in targeted regions in Colombia; and
  2. Reduce unemployment by improving the labour force capacities of young women and men as well as victims of the conflict through vocational training and psychosocial support.

Since April 2019, we have expanded our program portfolio. New bilateral partnerships include projects in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Honduras, and Peru. For more information on our impact over the past several years, we invite you to click here.