Cuso International

Cuso International

This profile originally appeared in the 2018-19 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

Our work is based on a simple but powerful vision: a world where all people can realize their potential, develop their skills and participate fully in society. For close to 60 years, we’ve advanced that vision by transforming and strengthening the ability of individuals and organizations to deliver effective and innovative solutions for people in communities around the world.  

Together, we’re advancing our mission in 21 countries across Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Canada. Key to our success has been the commitment of thousands of highly skilled Canadian volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to drive forward innovative programs that are creating positive lasting change.

Cuso International
Volunteers Chelsey Berendse and Christina Tellez help harvest and market Bolivia’s botanicals. In Bolivia, Cuso International is improving the lives of the country’s most vulnerable citizens, who are mostly women and girls. Our work spans several decades and our relationships with our Bolivian partners are built on a firm foundation of cooperation and trust.

At a glance

Year founded: 1961

Geographic region of focus: We operate in 21 countries around the world across Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, the Andean region of South America and the Caribbean, as well as Canada.

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $44,632,793

Top funding sources: 

  • Programs and donations: 71%
  • Revenue in-kind: 29%

Fundraising priorities:

Donating to Cuso International provides support to our projects within our three focus areas of health, livelihood and community.  

  • Health: Cuso International volunteers and partners work together to improve access to basic health care, with an emphasis on maternal, newborn and childcare, especially for those living in poverty, in remote areas, or who are excluded because of race, gender or class. Your generosity is helping to provide mothers with the care they need to deliver their babies safely and raise them to be healthy, happy children.
  • Livelihood: Through skilled volunteers and collaborative partnerships, your donations help people and the communities in which they live become more self-sufficient and resilient. Your generosity supports programs that offer education and skills training to help women and youth find jobs or build businesses. 
  • Community: Communities thrive when citizens are safe and included. Your donations help break down barriers so that children are protected, and women and men can enjoy the same human rights and be given the same opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their lives.

How you can help


Your donation helps Cuso International send skilled Canadian volunteers around the world, where they are needed most. Working together with local partners and communities we create change in areas most affected by poverty, exclusion and inequality. In addition, every dollar donated will make an even bigger difference as it is being matched by our funders to have 10 times the impact.


Our volunteers work with local partners around the world to build skills and transfer knowledge. Cuso International recruits volunteers for placements that range from six months to 24 months. Skills sought may include communications, health policy, education, food security and gender specialization, to name a few.  We also place hundreds of e-volunteers, who connect with our program partners virtually. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit our online Volunteer Placement board.

Events and fundraising

Voice for Change campaign

Funds raised will support the economic and social well-being of poor and marginalized women, men and children around the world. Our goal is to lift more than 27 million people out of poverty by funding initiatives that provide better universal healthcare, increase the economic power of 19 million people and advance gender equality and social inclusion in 19 countries, as well as work with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Board members and executives

Cuso International Executives
Board of directors chair Frank O'Dea, left, and CEO C. Glenn Mifflin.


Bruce A. McKean
Vice-chair (Ottawa)

François R. Roy
Treasurer (Montreal)

Lloyd Axworthy
Immediate past-chair (Winnipeg)

Susana Galdos
(Lima, Peru)

Lynn Graham

Dan M. Martin
(Washington, D.C.)

Nora Murdock

Patricia Perez-Coutts

Kole Ahmed Shettima
(Abuja, Nigeria)

Chris Snyder

Jeff Cates

Wayne Robertson

Justin Winchiu

Get in touch

200-44 Eccles St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1R 6S4

Twitter: @cusointl
Facebook: Cuso International