Support CUSO International

February 2011 has begun an exciting new chapter of my life with a unique and challenging assignment overseas.  I am fulfilling a lifelong ambition of sharing my skills in social services in a developing country.  I’ve loved the field of social services since I started doing volunteer work in college, and haven’t changed my mind since – I’ve gotten a lot of satisfaction from working with and among community members to develop programs that will meet people’s needs and last the long haul.  Driven by my knowledge of history, particularly of colonization and the other factors which led to the current economic state of most of Sub-Saharan Africa, I have come to Ghana with the aim of seeing that same sort of cooperative building process take place here in Ghana.  And I get to be a part of it.
For these 18 months, I am working as Disability Learning Needs Advisor through CUSO International and VSO at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana’s most well-known university with over 45,000 students, located in the central region of Ghana.  It is situated about three hours from the capital city of Accra and 45 minutes from the semi-deciduous rainforest of Kakum National Park.
My responsibilities are identifying social and academic needs of students with disabilities, developing and advocating for university policy, supporting the student organization and development of a student DPO and mobilizing resources, agencies and funding.  This is definitely the experience of a lifetime, as it’s not only the first time I’m living overseas, but also the first time I've been able to work on such a large scale project; nevertheless, it’s an experience I’ve been eager to embrace.
I chose to volunteer with CUSO because of it reputation, vision, professionalism and demonstrated concern for its volunteers.  CUSO International partners with VSO (Volunteer Service Overseas) International, the world’s leading independent international development organization with six agency offices worldwide.  Six countries supply skilled professionals to over 40 developing countries and thousands of partner organizations to help them achieve their goals for development.
As part of my volunteer role,  CUSO International and VSO requests that I raise awareness about the organization and help contribute to the costs of volunteers sending.  I set myself a goal of 2,000 USD  for my placement.
CUSO International is a registered charity working in the field of international development.  You can donate a few ways:
·      Online:, and learn different ways you can contribute:
·     By mail: Cuso International
44, Eccles Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, ON K1R 6S4

·    By telephone, using your credit card: (613) 829-7445, ext. 222 or 1 (888) 434-2876 ext. 222.
As a point of reference, each volunteer placement overseas costs CUSO International and VSO approximately $30,000.  Your contribution will not go to me directly, but your support ensures that I, and other volunteers like me, will be able to continue living and working to achieve sustainable change in developing countries.  When you donate, I will be delieghted to keep you regularly poted about life in Ghana through my blog… or post pictures of you on my office wall and tell everyone about you… or send you home things that I find in the markets of Accra.  More than anything, any amount you give will be sincerely and utterly appreciated. 
Your support of CUSO International and VSO sends skilled volunteers to share their knowledge and experience with the people who need it most – helping the men, women and children living in poverty help themselves out of poverty, and achieve meaningful change.
I hope that you will be inspired by this opportunity to give to such a worthwhile charity.  All my best wishes for a wonderful 2011, and thank you for your contribution.