Helen Keller would be proud

, one volunteer at a time.
You are helping to change the world
Sandy working with
Sense International in
Tanzania to advocate
for deafblind children.
Helen Keller would be proud
I know it sounds shocking... but in parts of the world, historically,
a handicapped child was seen as shameful, a sign of a curse,
something to be hidden or left to die!
— Sandra Klos, CUSO-VSO volunteer
andy is a Clinical Psychologist who dedicated volunteers like Sandy, things are
left her lucrative private practice to beginning to change.
volunteer with Sense International,
an organization that advocates for “When I arrived,” says Sandy, “there
the deafblind in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. were already a number of classrooms set
up for deafblind children. But there was
A deafblind child is both visually and hearing something missing.”
impaired. This double sensory handicap
means these children are misunderstood
She realized it was the teachers who
and often sadly neglected simply because
needed encouragement and training in one
their families are completely and utterly
of the most basic of skills — play!
overwhelmed by the challenges of raising a
deafblind child.
They had all the right qualifications
but in this culture, none of them had
“One of the first stories I heard when I got
experience with the amount and
here,” says Sandy, “was of a young boy,
number of toys and tactile aids
I’ll call him Samuel, whose parents would
required to make a connection with
simply tie him to a chair all day while they
these special needs children.
worked in the fields. That was the only thing
they knew to do.”
“Think Helen Keller!” says
Sandy, “Deafblind children
But through the work of Sense International, connect to the world
and with help from resourceful and
largely with their sense
Continue on page 2
Page 2
•Stopping sexual violence
Page 3
•Carpentry with purpose
•An empowering idea
Page 4
•Canada’s Governor General
chooses CUSO-VSO
•50th Anniversary
national celebrations
Page 5
•CUSO-VSO is recruiting
Page 6
•Leaving a Legacy
Issue 11-1
Continued from page 1
of touch, so the teachers here are
helping these children make that
connection. It’s a slow process and
requires incredible patience.”
Sense International provided funding
to equip an “experimental” classroom
with a wide assortment of teaching
materials such as puzzles, shape
sorters, fabrics, yarns, beads, dolls
and plastic animals.
The change did not go unnoticed. The
Kenya Institute for Special Education
chose Sandy’s experimental classroom
as a place where their deafblind
teachers can learn “from the best”.
The challenges are enormous.
The government’s Education For All
campaign seeks to make education for
every child in Kenya a priority but by
some estimates there is still a need
for some 70,000 teachers to reach over
4 million children.
With this simple breakthrough Sandy
became a “teacher to the teachers”.
She also witnessed an incredible
“So, as you can imagine,” says
change in the students. Children who
Sandy, “it cannot be a major priority
once sat slumped over all day staring
to reach these severely disabled
blankly at the floor became alert,
children. That’s why our role here
engaged — interacting with their world. is so important.”
Because of Sense International and
Sandy’s help as CUSO-VSO volunteer,
deafblind teachers are getting better
at what they do, and that reality will
continue long after her assignment
is complete.
“I’m grateful to CUSO-VSO for the
opportunity to work with these
wonderful teachers. Plus, I want our
donors to know that because of them,
this classroom — and these children’s
lives — will never be the same again!”
To learn more about CUSO-VSO’s Disability
Program please visit our YouTube site at
http://tinyurl.com/VoicePart1 and http://
tinyurl.com/VoicePart2 to watch the voice
of 650 million times one, produced by VSO.
Sexual violence. Making it stop!
uatemala. With tear-filled
eyes, 57-year-old Francisca
uttered these words, “If only
someone had explained these things
to me when I was young, it would
have saved me from being treated
like an unworthy object from the
first day of my marriage.”
Francisca is one of the many women
being helped by CICAM, the Centre
for Investigation, Empowerment
and Support to Women. CUSO-VSO
volunteer Maya Fernandez is a vital
part of the project.
travel to each region to teach young
women about their reproductive and
sexual rights and enable adult women
to know about violence prevention.
The results so far? “The enthusiasm of
these women is overwhelming,” says
Maya. All of the women in Phase One
have committed to becoming mentors
in their own communities. Through the
mentoring process this year alone over
3,000 women will benefit.
These women feel a new sense of
empowerment. “The impact we’re
making is greater than we could
ever have imagined,” says Luvia,
one of the mentors, “this is like
a dream to us.”
Your support of CUSO-VSO
volunteers means that for many
women in Guatemala, a life free from
sexual violence is now not a dream,
but a reality.
The impact we’re making is greater than we could ever have
imagined... this is like a dream to us.
Sexual violence is one of the most
ancient, hidden and silenced
expression of violence against
women. But simply put, a woman
who is aware of her sexual and
reproductive rights is less likely to
suffer discrimination and violence.
Maya immediately became an
important part of the program. The plan
was as brilliant as it was practical —
The CICAM team and women who have gained a new sense of empowerment through the
sexual violence prevention program.
The right man for the right job
f you want the job done — find the
right person!
That’s how Father Joachim De Mello
felt when he went looking for someone
to help him solve a major problem.
He works with disadvantaged youth
in St Ignatius, Guyana as part of the
Jesuit Mission. In this region there are
very few opportunities for vocational
training. Big problem.
But Father Joachim saw a solution
— a derelict and almost forgotten
carpentry workshop. The shop had
sat unused for years. Much of the
machinery was broken and had fallen
into disrepair.
What was desperately needed was
someone who could bring the shop
back to life. Fr Joachim met with
CUSO-VSO-Guyana because he
believed his plan was a good one.
He just needed the right person.
Enter Eddie Doyle, an Irish
born master cabinet maker and
woodworker. In addition to his
woodworking qualifications, Eddie
specializes in occupational and
vocational training.
The first two months of Eddie’s
overseas placement in Guyana
were spent on the massive job of
returning the broken-down workshop
to operational status. Then things
got interesting.
Father Joachim presenting Certificate
of attendance to a young trainee, Francis
Eusebio from Shulinab.
Eddie contacted local community
groups and the invitation went
Kenneth from Nappi and Robert from
Shulinab working under Eddie’s supervision.
out for young trainees. Since then,
the shop has been humming with
activity — and purpose. Skills learned
here will provide independence
and dignity, and create incomegenerating opportunities where
once there were none.
So far so good. Since Eddie arrived,
eleven carpenters have graduated
from the workshops and many more
trainees have signed on.
Remember, when you support CUSOVSO’s hard working volunteers like
Eddie, these are the successes you
make possible!
CUSO-VSO 50th Anniversary
National Celebrations
The national reunion is taking place in Ottawa on June
24–26, 2011 at Carleton University.
•Saturday, June 25 th — Conference at Carleton University
•Saturday, June 25 th — Reception, Dinner & Dance
•Sunday, June 26 th — Celebration BBQ Luncheon with VIPs
There are also regional events being planned later this year
in Atlantic Canada, Toronto and the Prairies and Western
Canada. Please visit www.cuso-vso50.org for registration
and for more detailed information or call 1-888-434-2876,
Ext. 204 to request further information by telephone or by
mail or e-mail: [email protected]
In celebration of our 50 th anniversary CUSO-VSO is
entering a team in this year’s May 28 th and 29 th Ottawa
Race Weekend. Visit www.r4tw.ca to sign up or for
more information.
For every $2,500 we raise, thanks to the agreement with
CIDA, CUSO-VSO can send a professional volunteer
overseas for one year. Join our global movement —
invest in CUSO-VSO’s volunteers for the world. Every
$1 donated is leveraged 9 times by the Canadian
International Development Agency! $5 becomes $50.
$10 becomes $100. $100 becomes $1,000. And so on!
Please visit our website — news and events section,
to learn about CUSO-VSO Information sessions in or near your community this year.
Did you know?
Canada’s Governor General chooses CUSO-VSO
to place great importance on
voluntarism and community service.
His patronage will continue through
his term as Governor General over
the next five years.
In his inaugural address, the Governor
General, who is in effect Canada’s
Head of State, took the opportunity
This is a distinct honour for us and
one that we share happily with our
loyal supporters and friends. But
most of all, the Governor General’s
am pleased to announce
that His Excellency the Right
Honourable David Johnston,
the new Governor General of
Canada, has accepted our invitation
to serve as Patron of CUSO-VSO.
patronage is a very special vote of
confidence for our many dedicated
CUSO-VSO volunteers who proudly
represent Canada around the world
as they continue to give selfless
service to people and communities
in need.
Derek G. Evans
Executive Director, CUSO-VSO
Volunteer — Champion of change
It wasn’t a simple idea.
It was an empowering idea.
When former CUSO-VSO volunteer
Jock Brandis was in Mali in 2000,
he found himself on a dusty road
watching two women shelling
peanuts to be sold in the local market.
Their hands were bloody and raw from
the tedious, painfully slow process.
“There’s got to be a better way,”
he thought, and it turns out there
absolutely is a better way.
When Jock returned home he went
looking for a simple hand-operated nut
sheller that could be easily shipped
or manufactured overseas — but
unfortunately there was no such thing.
So Jock invented one!
But he didn’t stop there. He set up
shop, and a non-profit organization
called The Full Belly Project to
empower people in rural communities
with appropriate technologies such
as the universal nut sheller, the
rocking water pump and the corn
cracker. The shellers are shipped
— almost like a factory in a box —
along with detailed instructions on
how the unit can be manufactured
using local materials.
Then what happened? Well, so
far thousands of Jock’s universal nut
shellers have been manufactured
and distributed in countries
throughout South America,
the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
The sheller also processes coffee
beans, pecans and hazelnuts.
volunteer, Jock
Brandis, with his
empowering invention
CUSO-VSO volunteers! Special people
with amazing talents to share not
only on their overseas placements
but upon their return to Canada
or the U.S.A.
See page 5 for how you can volunteer with CUSO-VSO like Jock!
CUSO-VSO is recruiting!
Each year, hundreds of North Americans have strived
to overcome world poverty by volunteering overseas
with CUSO-VSO. Working alongside women and men
in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the
world, volunteers see first hand the impact international
volunteering can have in improving people’s lives.
Our volunteers...
Right now, CUSO-VSO is actively recruiting experienced
professionals to fill volunteer placements with our
overseas partners. We are looking for English, French
and Spanish-speaking professionals with a minimum
of 2–5 years professional experience. Our training and
support package covers the costs of being an overseas
volunteer, allowing you to enjoy a modest but healthy
lifestyle while you volunteer abroad.
Currently recruiting*
•Primary School Teacher Trainer, Rwanda – 12 months
•Education Manager, Nigeria - 12 months
•Climate Change Advisor, Honduras – 12 months
•Disability Advocacy Advisor, Guyana – 12 months
•Fundraising Advisor, Tanzania – 12 months
•Community Worker, Cameroon - 24 months
•Hospital Nurse, Burkina Faso – 12 months
•Paediatrician, Ethiopia – 12 months
•Web and Communications Specialist, Jamaica – 12 months
•Organizational Development Advisor, Burkina Faso – 6 months
•Management Advisor, Cambodia – 12 months
*Please check our website for a complete list of all current volunteer placements
and apply today!
Leaving a Legacy
It felt good, and it was easy.
Questions? Call now to speak to someone at CUSO-VSO. Toll free 1-888-434-2876, Ext. 287
Contact Information
Thank You!
CUSO-VSO North American Office
44 Eccles Street, Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 6S4 Canada
Tel: (613) 829-7445 • Toll-free: 1-888-434-2876
Fax: (613) 829-7996 • e-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.cuso-vso.org • Facebook : www.facebook.com/cusovso
CUSO-VSO would like to acknowledge
and express its sincere gratitude to
all our supporters, volunteers and the
following institutional donors for support
of our projects and programs in Canada
and overseas.
For information on volunteering for CUSO-VSO in North America,
contact the Public Engagement Officer nearest you.
Atlantic Canada/Northeastern U.S.
Charlottetown, PEI
[email protected]
Tel: (902) 892-2610 • Toll Free for Atlantic: 1-800-676-8411
Québec/Francophone Canada/Southern U.S.
Montréal, Québec
[email protected][email protected]
Tel: (514) 276-8528
Western Canada/Prairies/U.S. West/Alaska/Hawaii
Vancouver, British Columbia
[email protected] • Tel: (604) 566-3368
Ontario/Northern Canada/U.S. Midwest
Ottawa, Ontario
[email protected] • Tel: (647) 478-4089 OR 1-888-434-2976, Ext. 244
• Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA)
• Ministère des Relations Internationales
du Québec (MRI)
• International Development Research
Centre (IDRC)
• McKnight Foundation
• Canadian Union of Public Employees’
Global Justice Fund
• Deloitte Canada
• R. Howard Webster Foundation