Have you ever been involved in an international development project that made a difference in a developing country or that changed someone's life for the better? We want to know your story and what you helped achieve!
We are looking for stories from volunteers, interns, development professionals, humanitarian workers, project managers and people in the developing world whose lives have improved as a result of Canadian assistance.
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Share your stories and results by sending us a message and briefly telling us what you did including:
the situation in the country
how you made a difference
what you learned from your experience
If you can, send us a photo or a video about a key moment of your experience, or provide a link to more information in a blog or website.
This section will provide you with some key links and resources. We do not necessarily endorse the activities and opinions you will find in these external links; and these links should not be viewed as official endorsements or changes in our policies and programs.
Here are a few selected responses:
Map (alternate version)
Empowering Zambian beekeepers through an innovative partnership
Liz Connell and Paul Whitney from Ottawa, Ontario
Liz and Paul created the African Bronze Honey Project in 2013. Inspired by a friend, Dan Ball, who trained 6,000 people as beekeepers in Zambia, Liz and Paul now market Zambian honey in Canada, and aim to generate enough profit to train another 6,000 beekeepers.
They partner with Canadian schools and not-for-profit organizations to sell the honey as a fundraiser. The beekeepers are paid the world price for their honey and 25 percent of the selling price goes to the beekeeper training program or to Canadian not-for-profit partners. About 10 percent goes toward developing new products.
Teaching children to protect the environment in Nicaragua
Kelsie Wright from Orillia, Ontario
Kelsie, along with three other Canadian interns, organized an Environmental Awareness Day that reached some 200 Nicaraguan children in three communities: Pearl Lagoon, Raitipura, and Haulover. Through various activities – a video, a giant book, games, and art creations – students in Grades 1 and 2 learned as much as they laughed. They are now better equipped to protect the environment, sea turtles, and natural resources in their communities.
Oumou is helping the Association Munyu des Femmes de la Comoé in Burkina Faso launch four microbusinesses to increase women's income by 20 percent. She is also helping to train women belonging to the association and empower them financially.
Measuring babies more accurately using PDAs in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe
Cynthia Fallu from Montreal, Quebec
As a volunteer with Health Bridge, Cynthia developed a survey that allowed Care Canada to establish a baseline for its project to improve the health of mothers and children in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. She also trained 20 local enumerators to use personal digital assistants (PDAs)—palm-held data-gathering devices similar to today's smartphones—to gather the data, including measuring and weighing babies and transmitting the data in “real time”, providing vital information about children's health and nutrition.
A teacher at Davidson School, Paul encouraged his students to make a difference globally and locally. The students participated in Free the Children's Pennies for Change program, collecting more than $200 to bring clean drinking water for life to 15 people living in Kenya. They also created a small vegetable garden and shared their tomatoes, beans, carrots, cucumbers and strawberries with the Davidson community.
Tom worked with 18 high schools in Kakamega district in Kenya, teaching English and life skills. He also helped to build a new dormitory and a library, and organized a marathon to spread messages of peace before the 2013 national elections.
Elizabeth, originally from Rwanda but now living in Canada, raised $150,000 to improve the school, which she herself had attended as a child. Canadian donors helped build two buildings (8 classrooms), 16 latrines and a new kitchen serving lunch to 1,500 children; and are creating mini-libraries in other rural schools, which have reached more than 5,000 children so far.
Ralph, a renowned chef who has cooked for the Queen of England, helped employees of the Surama Eco-lodge, a community-based eco-tourism enterprise, improve their food preparation and hospitality skills, and potentially grow their business.
Geneviève Sylvestre from Berthierville (Lanaudière), Quebec
Geneviève is helping to build the capacities of local partners to better prevent and manage natural disasters such as the floods that affected the 42 villages of the Sô-Ava Commune and a fire and cholera epidemic that hit one of the villages.
Jean Beaudry from Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec
Jean helped 80 families in eight poor neighbourhoods in the city of Riberalta develop home gardens and grow the fruit and vegetables they needed to protect their children from malnutrition in just one year.
Through an internship program with Niagara College, Diane is organizing workshops to train indigenous people in business, computers and first aid, and helping develop community-managed tourism in Yryapu.
With his Sierra Leonean friend Aiah Gbakima, Wes founded the Village Medical Project for Sierra Leone Society which has provided free medical treatment to villagers and reduced mortality rates for children under five by 82 percent since 2007 in Kono District.
Kinsey and her fellow students at McGill University are raising $15,000 to build a well in Utoo which will provide clean drinking water to 1000 families who currently have to walk six hours to get water.