On International Volunteer Day, we recognize the significant contribution that volunteers make every day to international development. Each year, more than 12 million Canadian volunteers generously donate their time and skills to organizations at home and abroad.
It is their dedication to help improve their communities and the quality of life of others that we must acknowledge. Those who volunteer to work in developing countries are Canada's ambassadors abroad. In their work around the world they bring the same spirit of compassion, hard work and selflessness that helped build our country.
In April, I was pleased to announce the renewal of CIDA's Volunteer Cooperation Program. This support by the Government will enable Canadian volunteer cooperation agencies to place 8,500 volunteers in developing countries over the next five years, matching qualified volunteers to local needs.
International Volunteer Day is a time for all of us to celebrate Canadian volunteers and the profound impact they have on the lives of people in developing countries.