WUSC Leave for Change

Since 2004 Canadian organizations have partnered with WUSC through Leave for Change to send their employees on a skilled volunteer assignment to support our partners in Africa and Asia.

Leave for Change is a three way partnership between the employer, employee and WUSC. The employer offers volunteering opportunities to their employees; the employee uses their vacation time to take part; and WUSC fully supports, facilitates and organizes the volunteer assignment.

Over the course of a three to four week assignment, Leave for Change volunteers share their specialised skills and expertise to strengthen the work of our local partner organizations who are working to create a better world for all young people.

Together we have strengthened the capacity of over 50,000 people who deliver life-changing programs and services for youth in their communities across the globe.

Help create a better world

Become a Leave for Change partner and offer your employees the chance to create a better world for youth. Leave for Change volunteers take part in a three to four week, skilled global development volunteer assignment supporting a local partner organization in Africa or Asia. By working alongside organizations who are striving to create lasting change and by connecting with the local community, volunteers come back more open-minded, motivated and committed to their employer.

Leave for Change employer benefits

  • Motivation at work
  • Loyalty to their employer
  • Professional satisfaction

Develop your talented employees

Thinking outside the box, being creative with limited resources, and adapting to new surroundings and cultures offers employees the chance to develop both personally and professionally. Volunteering through Leave for Change is an experience that supports global development while leaving a lasting impact on the individual, their community, and their workplace.

Leave for Change employee benefits

  • Intercultural and global development
  • Analytical, adaptation & leadership
  • Innovation

Your greatest asset, your employees, becomes our greatest asset, our volunteers

Your employees have the skills, experience and knowledge to help create a better world for all young people. By sharing their skills in areas such as Marketing, Communication, Entrepreneurship, Business, ICT, HR and Education Leave for Change volunteers strengthen the capacity of our partner organizations to meet their overall objectives of offering economic and educational opportunities to empower young people in their community.

Leave for Change development impact

  • Gender equality
  • Young people reached
  • Strategic relationships

Enhance your Corporate Social Responsibility program and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

Many Canadian organizations, from across all sectors, are answering the call for greater corporate leadership in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. There is a growing body of research that demonstrates how skills-based volunteering creates progress toward these essential goals. By sharing knowledge and skills between employees and like-minded partners in the world’s most fragile countries, Canadian employers demonstrate their commitment to positive, sustainable change. The benefits to partners, employees, and employers are both multifold and long-lasting.

WUSC’s Leave for Change volunteering opportunities make direct contributions to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goals #1 - No Poverty
Sustainable Development Goals #5 - Gender Equality
Sustainable Development Goals #8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
Sustainable Development Goals #17 - Partnership for the Goals

Meet our Volunteers

WUSC has successfully sent over 10,000 volunteers internationally since 1977.

Hussien Zughaer

Hussien Zughaer

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)

“My journey with Leave for Change at WUSC in Jordan was truly transformative. As I engaged in empowering youth for a greener future through summer camps and sustainability workshops, the experience left an indelible mark on me, shaping my perspective in profound ways.”

Stephanie Neville

Stephanie Neville


“The Leave for Change experience had a profound impact on me! I’d travelled to other countries before, but never had the opportunity to work in another country until Leave for Change. It was an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience, something I will never forget.”

Deng Pan

Deng Pan


"The Leave for Change Program allowed me to diversify my professional competencies by working across cultures and within new environments. The experience was personally fulfilling as well, allowing me to expand my worldview. Back in Canada, I find myself tapping into both these areas of growth at work and in my life."

Victoria Bell

Victoria Bell

Canadian Medical Association

 “After my Leave for Change experience, I came home energized, more committed to my job and with a better ability to work with different kinds of people.”

Leave for Change Partners

We are grateful to our partners for their continued work and dedication!

Ashbury College
North Island College
Nova Scotia Community College
Thompson Rivers University
Universities Canada

Larry Peat

Director, Administration & CFO Thompson Rivers University World Global Operations, Thompson Rivers University

“You really know you are onto something when more than half of our participants ask when they can go on another assignment. Many of these staff members have used almost their entire year’s vacation on their first assignment but find that a small price to pay for this life changing opportunity.”

Become a Leave for Change partner

Would you like to enhance your Corporate Social Responsibility goals, have an impact on global development, and develop your talented employees? Contact us for more information on becoming a Leave for Change partner.

Leave for Change FAQ

Leave for Change is a three way partnership between the employer, employee and WUSC. The employer offers volunteering opportunities to their employees, sharing the cost with WUSC; the employee uses their vacation time to take part; and WUSC fully supports, facilitates and organizes the volunteer assignment.

Leave for Change is a turn-key program. We take care of all the details and ensure that your employees are safe, informed and guided every step of the way. Our dedicated staff handles all of the logistics in Canada and overseas - before, during and after the volunteer assignments. The employer's responsibility includes the signing of an agreement, promoting the program internally, participating in the selection of candidates (if desired) and supporting employees as they share their experiences when they return from their assignment.

If sending your employees on a short-term, skilled international development assignment sounds like a good fit for your organization please contact us for more details!

You can expect the following steps in the process:

  1. Together we will determine if the Leave for Change program aligns with the mission and values of your organization as well as the requirements of our local partner organizations.
  2. Your organization would then sign an agreement with WUSC detailing the agreed number of employees you would like to send on assignment. The agreement also details each party's roles and responsibilities throughout the process.
  3. Once the agreement has been signed, a promotional campaign is launched within your workplace. Leave for Change assignments are posted on the WUSC website and interested employees can apply for assignments that match their skill set and interests.
  4. Selected candidates are interviewed by the WUSC Leave for Change team and, if desired, a representative from your organization.
  5. Before departure, selected volunteers work with the WUSC administration team to obtain visas, plane tickets, medical checks and insurance. All volunteers take part in a comprehensive pre-departure training. Volunteers are also encouraged to engage with their local partner organization before leaving on assignment.
  6. When arriving in their country of assignment, volunteers are welcomed by the WUSC program team at the airport and accompanied to their pre-arranged accommodation. Volunteers take part in a country and security briefing and are introduced to their local partner organization.
  7. At the end of their assignment, volunteers complete an end of assignment report.
  8. Upon returning to Canada, volunteers are invited for a debrief session. Employees are also required to share their experience at work, in their communities or within their networks to help raise awareness of the important contributions Canadian organizations like yours are making to global development efforts around the world.

Yes, partners are expected to make a financial contribution towards the Leave for Change program. WUSC’s volunteer cooperation program would not be possible without the financial support of the Government of Canada and our Canadian Leave for Change partners.

Leave for Change assignments are designed to fit in with an employee’s busy work and personal schedule. Assignments are short-term, usually between three and four weeks with flexible, year round departures. Leave for Change assignments take place in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi and Côte d'Ivoire. The qualifications, skills and experience required vary greatly depending on the needs of our local partners. Past assignments have included:

  • Impact Investing Advisor
  • Digital Marketing Advisor
  • Knowledge Management Advisor
  • Strategic Planning Advisor
  • Partnership Development
  • Travel Operation Advisor
  • Curriculum Development Advisor
  • Employability, Leadership and Soft Skills Advisor
  • Student Service Advisor
  • And many more!

Leave for Change volunteer employees stem from all departments and levels of employment.

The WUSC volunteer cooperation program is all about strengthening the capacities of our local partner organizations. Acting as advisors, volunteers share their knowledge and skills from their area of expertise with our partner organizations. By working together, they strengthen the host organization’s capacities in a specific field. By sharing their experiences and time, volunteers gain a host of new skills such as increased intercultural communication skills, better knowledge and understanding of global development and become more open-minded, adaptable and innovative.

No. Leave for Change professional volunteer assignments are only available to employees working for an organization partnered with WUSC.