Cuso International’s volunteer management system poised to boost the culture of volunteerism in Ethiopia


Cuso International’s volunteer management system poised to boost the culture of volunteerism in Ethiopia

Cuso International is strengthening women and girls’ empowerment in Ethiopia by creating greater access to volunteer experiences that are founded on gender equality and social inclusion.

Working with Ethiopia’s Authority for Civil Society Organizations (ACSO), Cuso International staff and volunteers, played a pivotal role in the development, management, and promotion of the gender sensitive and inclusive Volunteer Management Information System (VMIS).

Available to residents across Ethiopia, Ethiopians living overseas as well as interested individuals from abroad, this digital platform matches volunteers with suitable organizations and opportunities.

First developed in spring 2022, the VMIS laid the foundation for national volunteering infrastructure, as well as useful guidelines for the country’s volunteer programs. It proved so successful, several public universities, community-based organizations and youth associations have adopted the program’s guidelines to strengthen their volunteering activities.

On December 6, International Volunteer Day, ACSO, and the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs along with  Cuso International officially launched the software “ Ethiopia – Volunteerism VMIS” – Volunteer Management Information System that provides additional information about volunteering opportunities; offers a more user-friendly registration system; creates faster and more targeted links between potential volunteers and participating organizations; and collects important data to capture changing trends and developments in the volunteer sector.

The upgraded VMIS features a more inclusive platform, providing a range of opportunities across the country for future volunteers. This will lead to increased engagement in grassroots organizations that seek to empower marginalized groups, women’s groups that advocate for equality and rights, and organizations that support people living with disabilities.

This atmosphere of inclusion extends to the program’s mandatory online gender equality training modules for prospective volunteers and participating organizations that is currently being developed by Cuso International volunteers.

“As we celebrate International Volunteer Day with the theme “Volunteerism through Solidarity” which directly relates with our current situation, Volunteerism will help to solve the problems we are currently involved as a country”, Ato Fasikaw Molla, Deputy General, Authority for Civil Society Organization.

Building on the success of the original VMIS, this premium version will have a greater overall reach, leading to higher volunteer participation within an environment of inclusion, equality, and awareness.