Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

How Are You Making a Difference?

I am making a difference! - Send us your story

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.

Download the How Are You Making a Difference? icon to help you promote it!

How You Are Making a Difference? Tell Us!
(12 KB, 72 dpi, File type: .jpg)

Courtesy of © Developing World Connections

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)

Liz Connell and Paul Whitney

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.

More information:
African Bronze Honey Project
African Bronze Honey Project - News
African Bronze Honey Project - A Sweet Product with Purpose
DFATD's work in Zambia

Kelsie Wright along with three other Canadian interns

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.

More information:
Walk In The Rain or Get Wet
Environmental Awareness Day
Pueblito Canada
International Development Project Browser: Pueblito Canada - International Internships 2013-2014
DFATD's work in Nicaragua

Courtesy of Oumou Nomoko

Empowering women in Burkina Faso

Oumou Nomoko from Gatineau, Quebec

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.

More information:
International Development Project Browser: Oxfam-Québec — Volunteer Sending 2009-2014
DFATD's work in Burkina Faso

Courtesy of Cynthia Fallu

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.

More information:
CARE Canada
DFATD's work in Ethiopia
DFATD's work in Zimbabwe

Courtesy of Paul Stinson

Involving a Canadian classroom in development

Paul Stinson from Craik, Saskatchewan

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.

More information:
Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) Global Classroom Video
Sun West School Division "Help Make a Difference" Wiki
Free the Children
DFATD's work in Kenya

Courtesy of Thomas Conant

Improving children's lives in Kenya

Thomas Conant from Burlington, Ontario

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.

More information:
Community Education Services (CES)
Thomas's blog
DFATD's work in Kenya

Courtesy of Elizabeth Johnson

Improving children's education in Rwanda

Elizabeth Johnson from Langley, British Columbia

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.

More information:
Grace Rwanda Society
Toonies4Change Fundraising campaign
DFATD's work in Rwanda

Courtesy of Ralph Graham

Better food, more satisfied customers in Guyana

Ralph Graham from Victoria, British Columbia

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.

More information:
Video: Surama Eco-Lodge in Guyana
International Development Project Browser: Project profile for CESO — Volunteer Sending 2009-2014
DFATD's work in Guyana

Courtesy of Geneviève Sylvestre

Preventing natural disasters in Benin

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.

More information:
Geneviève's Blog (in French)
International Development Project Browser: Oxfam-Québec — Volunteer Sending 2009-2014
DFATD's work in Benin

Courtesy of Jean Beaudry

Gardening improves child nutrition in Bolivia

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.

More information:
Video: Devenez coopérante ou coopérant (in French)
International Development Project Browser: Oxfam-Québec — Volunteer Sending 2009-2014
DFATD's work in Bolivia

Courtesy of Gary Buchanan

Turning waste into treasure in Nicaragua

Gary Buchanan from Athabasca County, Alberta

Gary is providing economic development advice and helping to convert waste paper into cooking briquettes which will reduce deforestation and create new jobs in Somoto.

More information:
International Development Project Browser: Municipal Partners for Economic Development
DFATD's work in Nicaragua

Courtesy of Kelly Galloway-Sealock

Sharing expertise with Tanzania

Kelly Galloway-Sealock from Kitchener, Ontario

Kelly is working with the city of Morogoro on local economic development initiatives such as creating economic corridors linking rural and urban communities.

More information:
International Development Project Browser: Municipal Partners for Economic Development
DFATD's work in Tanzania

Courtesy of Diane Tisdall

Building indigenous tourism in Argentina

Diane Tisdall from Toronto, Ontario

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.

More information:
Diane's blog
International Development Project Browser: Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology — International Internships 2010-2013
DFATD's work in Argentina

Courtesy of Lise Hamilton

Increasing food security in Mozambique

Lise Hamilton from Calgary, Alberta

Lise is helping monitor and evaluate projects to improve farmers' planting and conservation methods, increase productivity and provide more food for their families in Pemba.

More information:
Lise's blog
Aga Khan Foundation Canada
International Development Project Browser: Enhancing Food Security and Increasing Incomes in Northern Mozambique
DFATD's work in Mozambique

Courtesy of Anna-Gina Bazinet

Training teachers in Mali

Anna-Gina Bazinet from Montreal, Quebec

Anna-Gina helped train more than 30 Malian teachers in Sikasso and organized community awareness-raising sessions for more than 100 people about the importance of education.

More information:
Anna-Gina's story (in French)
Québec sans frontières (in French)
DFATD's work in Mali

Courtesy of Brother Paul Desmarais

Training farmers in organic sustainable agriculture in Zambia

Brother Paul Desmarais from Stoney Point, Ontario

Brother Paul created a centre for organic farming and helped train 1500 small-scale farmers and their families to increase crop yields, reduce hunger and become self-sufficient in Kasisi.

More information:
Canadian Jesuits International
International Development Project Browser: Organic Agriculture for Small-Scale Farmers
DFATD's work in Zambia

Courtesy of Wes Strickland

Reducing preventable child deaths in Sierra Leone

Wes Strickland from Nanaimo, British Columbia

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.

More information:
Village Medical Project for Sierra Leone (video)
Village Medical Project for Sierra Leone Society
DFATD's work in Sierra Leone

Courtesy of Cecilia Joao

Developing women leaders in Mozambique

Cecilia Joao from Tambara, Mozambique

Working with Oxfam Canada, Cecilia has helped women take on leadership roles in schools, savings and credit groups, villages, towns and districts in Tambara.

More information:
International Development Project Browser: Sustainable Livelihoods and Agriculture Project
DFATD's work in Mozambique

Courtesy of Kinsey Brockie

Building a well in Kenya

Kinsey Brockie from Mississauga, Ontario

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.

More information:
It Is Well website by students at McGill University
DFATD's work in Kenya