The world needs more Canada. It is a source of great pride for our country that Canadians are respected the world over for our contributions to global development. Together, we have the power to foster long term development by expanding the capacity of civil societies in the Global South that advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participating in a Change for Children project is a unique opportunity. It is a chance to experience a different country, whilst making a difference in the lives of the people you serve. In addition, you will have the opportunity to work alongside locals who are helping achieve development goals in their own communities.
Change for Children’s short term (one to two week) volunteer sending program responds to the needs of beneficiary populations and the needs of our partner organizations in these countries to build their capacity in the delivery of more inclusive, innovative & environmentally sustainable development initiatives. The program marries these needs with the desire that Canadians have to contribute what they can and do their part to end global poverty.
As a non-profit organization working to develop local education initiatives and sustainable international projects, Change for Children relies on a diverse set of skilled volunteers to help promote action and change.
Professional Services Delivered Directly to Beneficiary Populations:
Professionals work as a team in a developing country to deliver professional services directly to beneficiary populations (i.e. dentistry, optometry, education, income generation). These brigades focus on key action areas of SDG #3: Good Health and Well Being, #4: Quality Education, #7: Affordable and Clean Energy, #8: Decent Work & Economic Growth and #10: Reduced Inequalities. Local partner organizations in these countries organize clinics and workshops with beneficiary populations to complement the organizations’ on-going development programming.
Professional Consulting Services Delivered to partner organizations through Training and Program Support:
Specialists with expertise work as a team to deliver professional services and training (i.e. soil science, legal empowerment, communication) designed to build the capacity of field staff at partner organizations to execute inclusive, effective and innovative development programs . The direct beneficiaries of these brigades are the local field staff; but the benefits to the local population of increased capacity generates many more indirect beneficiaries.
Volunteering abroad is an amazing opportunity for you to learn about a new culture and experience a different way of life, while supporting the long-term developmental goals of your host community. You will engage in mutually-beneficial learning exchanges with your host community and fellow volunteers – sharing skills, ideas, values, languages, and cultural differences. Volunteering abroad is an invaluable learning and growth opportunity that will aid in personal and professional development.
For over four decades, CFCA has supported projects which lead to self-sufficiency and a more just distribution of the world’s resources. What makes CFCA’s approach different than other international development organizations is our commitment to local ownership and self-determination. Our projects are designed to build upon capacities of the communities we work in to ensure we are creating sustainable development. Because of this, the impact of your efforts will be felt long after you return home.
Our volunteers come from a diverse backgrounds, professions, and ages with a wide range of skills and experiences. The skills required for volunteers will depend on the type of project they are participating in. For individuals, families, and groups, we offer travel tours which do not require specialized skills. For corporations, we offer employee tours that will be tailored to the skills, preferences, and abilities of the participants. Some of our volunteer opportunities require specialized training and credentials, such as our dental brigades and ATA teaching tours.
No. Change for Children can usually accommodate all ages on our trips and brigades but this depends on the destination and the nature of the volunteer work. Please discuss your individual situation with your trip host to make the necessary arrangements that are right for you and your family members.
Prior to departure, volunteers will be required to take part in a training process to ensure they have a clear understanding of their role and can perform their given tasks without putting them self or others at risk. In addition, this training process will familiarize volunteers with the mission, vision, and history of CFCA, as well as the policies and procedures that relate to their role.
If you are Canadian and participating in a CFCA trip, the posted trip cost is eligible for a tax receipt, excluding R&R (relaxation and recreation) costs. The cost of airfare is also eligible for tax receipts, but they can only be provided for your airfare expense after your trip.
Volunteers are more than welcome to approach friends, relatives, or co-workers for donations to help cover trip expenses that are eligible for tax receipts. Our staff can provide you with a verification letter to validate that you are volunteering with CFCA and provide your supporters with information about what you are doing. We can also help you by providing additional information, photos for promotion, assistance setting up an online fundraising page or whatever else you may need.
If you plan to use our name or hold an event that would involve us issuing charitable receipts, we ask that you review our Third Party Fundraising Guidelines first. In addition, we ask that you use our Donation Forms to ensure we get all the correct and necessary donor information.
Every situation is different and visa requirements are dependent on the country you are travelling to. This information will be provided to you after you have registered to volunteer for CFCA.
Travel insurance is mandatory in order to volunteer abroad with CFCA. To keep costs as low as possible for volunteers, we do not include travel insurance in our fees. While CFCA does everything it can to ensure your trip abroad goes smoothly and is a rewarding, memorable experience, it is imperative to ensure you have adequate travel insurance. This will protect you should you require medical services, your bags go missing, or something gets stolen. There are many affordable travel medical insurance plans that you can buy online or conventionally. Before purchasing an insurance policy, ensure that it covers international medical emergency costs. If you have any questions and concerns, the staff at CFCA will gladly help.
The vaccinations you require will depend on which vaccinations you have had previously and the country that you are traveling to. A full list of recommended and required vaccinations is provided in your Program Guide, which you will receive once you are registered. We strongly advise that all volunteers consult a health professional or visit a travel clinic at least 3 months before their trip to discuss vaccinations. It is imperative that this is done as soon as possible after registration is complete, as some vaccinations take time to become effective.
Most Change for Children trips include opportunities for team members to participate in organized leisure activities unique to the area. We also encourage teams to get involved in local community activities. If you have any special interests or requests, please let your trip host know.
Change for Children requires that you participate in a post-trip or post-brigade survey process, so that we can collect lessons learned and identify areas of improvement. Some brigades may require that you participate in a de-briefing process, or submit a post-brigade report. This depends on the type of brigade you are involved in. Your trip host will advise you in advance of the expectations Change for Children has of your participation in the brigade group.