¡Feliz día de Canadá! (en inglés)

Dear volunteers,

Whether you are celebrating in Benin, Guinea, Guyana, Jordan, the Philippines,  Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Bolivia, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Tanzania, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, or Vietnam - know that we are thinking of you today.

Your commitment to sharing Canadian expertise, perspectives, and values with communities around the world is something all Canadians can truly be proud of - today and every day. Values like inclusion, is one of the main themes of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebration. As we reflect on this theme, and with the timely unveiling of Canada’s new international assistance policy in June, this is an opportune time to thank you for your contribution and commitment to working towards more inclusive economies and societies.

Canada’s new policy is deeply rooted in the belief that the empowerment of women and girls is “the most effective approach for Canada to reduce poverty and to build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.” We wholeheartedly agree. We applaud Canada’s leadership in placing inclusion at the centre of development efforts. And we applaud you for your contributions towards realizing this vision.

The new policy also underscores the very important contribution volunteers have made and are making in international development efforts. “Canadians have a long and proud tradition of working to improve living conditions for others around the world, whether through work with civil society and multilateral partners, or by serving as volunteers. Eager to make a difference, Canadians, including youth and people from our diverse cultural communities, are at the forefront of our international development and humanitarian efforts.”

CECI and WUSC know that Canadians will continue to play an important role towards achieving the global development agenda and the SDGs, which apply to all people in all countries. Canada is recognized as having developed one of the most extensive and innovative models of volunteering in international development. Every year, thousands of volunteers like you choose to share your skills and expertise in developing countries. Together with your local partners, you are effecting sustainable, inclusive, and economic change that addresses the specific needs of women and youth. These efforts embody the Canadian values of global citizenship, diversity and inclusion, compassion and acceptance, trust and respect, and the spirit of collaboration as you work side-by-side with your partners.

On this day of celebration, we thank you for this commitment and your choice to contribute to development efforts through WUSC and CECI.

Happy Canada Day!

Chris Eaton, executive director at WUSC

Claudia Black, executive director at CECI

Odette McCarthy, Uniterra director

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