Canada's VCAs gather to celebrate International Volunteer Day

DFATD support means the continuation of vital programs abroad

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians who give their time and expertise to build stronger economies and help break the cycle of poverty in developing countries had plenty to celebrate this International Volunteer Day. Each year, thousands of Canadians volunteer internationally, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). These volunteers share their knowledge and skills to deliver critical services and support sustainable economic and community development. International Volunteer Day (December 5) is an opportunity to celebrate the important contribution volunteers make to this country's global aid efforts. And Government of Canada funding for the sector is being extended for another year so Canadian volunteers can continue their meaningful work abroad.

To mark this special day, volunteers from Canada's Volunteer Cooperation Agencies (VCAs), including Canada World Youth, CECI, CESO, Crossroads International, Cuso International, Oxfam-Québec, SUCO, WUSC, and Youth Challenge International, gathered at CESO headquarters in Toronto to share inspiring stories of mentorship and hands-on work carried out in Canada's name around the world.

"Our Government supports Canada's volunteers and believes in the work Canadians are doing abroad to strengthen economies and create lasting, positive change," said Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie. "International Volunteer Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the positive impact Canadian volunteers are having throughout the world."

"Canadian volunteers share their skills, knowledge and experience to build capacity, improve institutions, and mentor leaders, all with the goal of creating sustainable change that improves the lives of our clients," said Wendy Harris, President and CEO of CESO. "CESO, on behalf of Canada's Volunteer Cooperation Agencies, applauds Canada's international  volunteers and thanks the Government of Canada for supporting their work in developing countries, whether it's strengthening  microfinance co-operatives in Burkina Faso or helping to accelerate universal salt iodization in Senegal."

About Canada's VCAs and International Volunteer Day:  
Each year, thousands of Canadians volunteer internationally with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). These volunteers share their knowledge and skills to deliver critical services and support sustainable economic and community development. International Volunteer Day (December 5) is an opportunity to celebrate the important contribution volunteers make to this country's global aid efforts.

Today's volunteer cooperation model uses a sophisticated, 21st-century approach to international development, one focused not on delivering cheques, but on transferring human capital. This human capital is represented in volunteers from every walk of life: teachers, engineers, bankers, farmers, governance specialists, and students, to name just a few. They range in age from youth to seniors and come from every region of Canada. They are the human face of Canada's international development efforts and represent our country's commitment to global citizenship. They are deployed and supported by Canada's Volunteer Cooperation Agencies, who bring years of experience in managing overseas volunteers and on-the-ground partnerships to help ensure safe environments and positive outcomes.

About CESO:
CESO builds stronger economies and better lives for people around the world through the transfer of skills and expertise from Canadian mentors.  For nearly 50 years, CESO Volunteer Advisors, who are unique in their senior level of professional experience, have focused on helping individuals and organizations across Canada and in more than 120 countries build strong, viable businesses and independent communities. Through their mentorship approach and partnership model, CESO's volunteers help to create sustainable change through personal client relationships and the strengthening of local partner institutions.

SOURCE: CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization)

For further information:

Media contact:
Jennifer Matthews
647-537-1000
jmatthews@ceso-saco.com

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CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization)

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