Welcome! If you are a regular visitor/reader of my blog you may have already read a post from me introducing CUSO International and asking you to donate to this great organization.

The following is a slightly more formal post explaining CUSO International and how the organization obtains its funding which I have decided to include following being interviewed by my hometown newspaper - The Inverness Oran (link to the story coming soon). The story will be directing people to my blog and I'm hoping that once reading the article, people will want to donate. Hopefully, some of my "regulars" find this interesting as well and get to learn a little bit more about why I choose to be a CUSO volunteer!

CUSO International is a Canadian organization established in 1961 that has sent more than 15000 volunteers to more than 70 countries since it has begun.  In the fiscal year 2010-11 CUSO International sent 256 volunteers abroad making it one of the largest volunteer-sending agencies in the world.

CUSO International doesn’t send money, they send people. The organization emphasizes long-term impact and attempts to avoid aid dependency by building direct capacity in an exchange of skills between the volunteer and the local organization and community. Volunteers from many professional backgrounds and cultural groups offer their skills and work in solidarity with their communities, organizations and other volunteers to directly effect change in the region they are working in. Since volunteers are paired with local staff, they come to learn first-hand the challenges facing the communities they are living and working in.

Volunteers don’t have to raise money for CUSO International before they depart for their placement but they are asked to try to raise CDN$2,500 – the cost of sending one volunteer overseas for 1 year – during the length of their placement. For each dollar raised by a volunteer and indeed donated to CUSO International by anyone, the Canadian International Development Agency donates nine.

With five decades experience in sending volunteers and developing programs to help people, communities, and countries overcome poverty, CUSO International is an agency worth donating to.

Please, take some time to read my posts and find out more about what I am doing here in Rwanda. Then follow this link to my donation page and consider making a worthwhile donation of any amount that CUSO International can use to continue sending qualified, professional volunteers abroad.