Canadian volunteer programs are changing the world one life at a time

International Volunteer Day is a time to recognize and celebrate the tremendous contributions of our volunteers in Canada and around the world.  Every day, our Canadian volunteers are on the ground improving lives in over 15 countries across four continents while raising awareness on important development issues back home.

Through the Uniterra Volunteer Cooperation Program, early, mid and late-career professionals support local partners in the areas of equality, economic development, health, education and governance. WUSC and CECI, through Uniterra, maintain a network of  100+ partners in the field, identifying needs, developing projects and selecting expert volunteers to achieve tangible, sustainable results for communities.

WUSC is also one of four members of a Canadian consortium leading a results-oriented volunteer cooperation program in Haiti. PCV Haiti recruits and sends qualified Canadian volunteer advisors to Haiti where they help local partners in the sectors of education, governance and economic development and develops placements for Haitian volunteers to share and build their expertise during missions to Canada. See the numerous achievements of PCV volunteers online at the PCV Haiti Photo Exhibition  or in person at Place du Centre in Gatineau, QC. The exhibition will run until December 20, 2014.

Here are some recent examples of development results made possible by Uniterra volunteers:

  • Over the past six years, more than 2,500 volunteers have supported 150 partner organizations ̶ including local civil society organizations, government offices, farmer groups and others ̶ to improve or expand the services that they offer.
  • These partners have together reached over 270,000 people, 60% of whom are women.
    • In Bolivia, our Mother and Child Health Project now operates in 13 municipalities, thanks to Uniterra’s strong results in the country. 5,000 now have access to 13 delivery rooms and culturally-sensitive health care in their own language.
    • In Mali, a shea-butter cooperative led by women significantly increased yields and achieved sales exceeding 30 million CFA francs. This was made possible through Uniterra volunteers and a n innovative commercial strategy focused on internal and external market development.
    • In Nepal, Uniterra volunteers helped set up a dairy cooperative of Dalit women with 42 members, as well as three other women’s dairy cooperatives. The organization provided training to 1,000 women and 450 men on gender equality and social inclusion, in order to encourage greater participation of women and marginalized groups in dairy production.
    • In Burkina Faso, 14,000 more people can now access health treatment and HIV/AIDS prevention programs as a result of Uniterra volunteers working with our local partner organizations there.
    • In Ghana, Uniterra volunteers helped establish 200 Girls’ Clubs that provide recreational and educational activities to promote personal growth and reduce school dropout rates. Uniterra is dedicated to girls’ education because basic education is the most effective tool in preventing poverty and disease as well as improving quality of life.

Here are some important results in Haiti through volunteer cooperation

  • 25 partners have strengthened their capacities (state institutions, businesses and civil society organizations).
  • 1,550 professionals (35% of them women) in the civil service, local government and civil society have developed their competencies in management and customer service, as well as communications tools.
  • 1,091 education community actors (trainers, principals, teachers) report improvements in their management skills or pedagogical approaches.
  • 1,150 people (30% of them women) were trained and/or supported in business management and/or management services for companies and investors.

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