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CUSO-VSO

CUSO and VSO Canada have merged to form CUSO-Voluntary Service Overseas, one of North America's largest international development organizations that works through volunteers. The two agencies joined forces to more effectively work towards our vision of a world without poverty or injustice.The act of volunteering can be transformative for both the overseas communities and the volunteers themselves. That's why CUSO-VSO believes we are changing the world, one volunteer at a time. As a strengthened CUSO-VSO, we can send more volunteers to work in solidarity with more partner groups in more countries.CUSO was founded in 1961, and VSO Canada started in 1995. Combined, they placed over 12,000 volunteers who contributed to a world of solutions in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas and the Caribbean.

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George Harris- Winnipeg - Podcast #47

George has served in several countries on different assignments. He has refined his skills and loves sharing them from Zanzibar, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. Thanks George you have made a real difference sharing your skills.

16mins

1 Aug 2009

Rank #1

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George Harris- Back From Uganda - Podcast #46

George continues his story of his projects and partners from Ethiopia to Uganda

8mins

1 Aug 2009

Rank #2

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George Harris has served with CUSO and VSO -Podcast #45

George Harris was very young when he started his first assignment. He has worked for CUSO, volunteered and married Shirley Lord and gone with her on assignment. Listen to this life long commitment to international work.George is preparing for his next assignment soon. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Shirley.

11mins

1 Aug 2009

Rank #3

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Helen Zokowski Talks about the founding 15 plus 1 - Podcast #44

Helen now lives in Comox and is a freelance writer. She has served with Science International, CBC, and is an accomplished Producer, Director and Writer. She talked to me about the founders and the first 16 volunteers that served in India, Malaysia and Borneo. Who were these pioneers. Started with an idea from Keith Spicer PhD and Donald K Farris PhD.To Serve and Learn. Key players Fred Stintson,Ozzie Schmidt,Lewis Perinbaum, Suzanne Johnson. Volunteers Anne Hume, Bill Mc Quinny, Dale Posgate, Hughette Leger, Buffie Curthurs, Steve Wilcomb, John Wilcox, Greta Dahl, John Andrews, Sally Bambridge. Silvia Silverston, Clenn Wodrife, Helen Wodrife- Startowski, Ed Enkin( deceased) and Dick Hamilton.One more name to come. We owe these first 16 a great deal. Over 12,000 Canadians went on to serve with CUSO. Thanks Helen for sharing this history with us. We look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2011.

29mins

29 Jul 2009

Rank #4

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To Serve and Learn- The Journey of a Pioneer - Podcast #43

Helen Startowski is an extraordinary woman and a pioneer for CUSO-VSO. In 1961, the Canadian Overseas Volunteers (COV), to become CUSO, sent its first 15 volunteers out on assignments, Helen was one of those volunteers. She majored in languages (Russian, English and Polish). Working in Toronto she met with Keith Spicer who was doing his PhD at U of Toronto at the time. He was inspired by Donald K Farris PhD who wrote the book called “To Plough with Hope”. The ideas was to send young Canadian just out of University to share skills and bring back International experience. The motto was to Serve and Learn. A meeting was held at U of T and 80 students were interested in the concept. A Group of 15 were chosen. 10 were to go India, 3 to Ceylon and 2 to Borneo. She began her preparation with no previous teacher training. She was to go to Malaysia. During her preparation she met Clenn Wodrife and after a 3 month courtship they were off to Malaysia as husband and wife celebrating their honeymoon on board the ship that was to take them to their assignment. They moved to Malaysia where she went to teach English and then taught British History. Clenn taught Math and Sciences. Surviving on an $80/ month stipend, the two did exactly what they set out to accomplish and in return for their efforts, Helen made life time friends and gained a new perspective and outlook on life. To learn more about Helen’s adventures abroad have a listen.

7mins

29 Jul 2009

Rank #5

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Jill Cooper Continues to Tell Us About Their Work in Bolivia - Podcast #42

9mins

18 Jul 2009

Rank #6

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Jill Cooper Tells Us More About Bolivia - Podcast #41

Geoff Ripat is back in Winnipeg and back at work. He was on his way out when I arrived. I spent a wonderful few hours talking to the family about Bolivia

8mins

13 Jul 2009

Rank #7

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Jill Cooper tells us about her work and Geoff work in Bolivia - Podcast #40

When Jill left Canada with her young family and her husband Geoff Ripat it was Geoff who had the assignment. Geoff was to do a labour market study in Cochabama mines with Kinde Nolte. This NGO works to benefit children and families. Geoff is a social worker. Jill was an accompanying spouse and began settling her family. She then found s position with the Save the Children helping children write to foster parents. She then went on to create a space in a drop in program for Junior high students. This space encouraged creativity and choice in a more rigid school system. Jill is a teacher. Jill also recorded a CD with Analia Abat, Manuel Rocha, Armin Vilica, Karen Arce, Amado Espinoza and Valerie Frege called A Dos lados. I have listen to it Jill and it is fantastic!

3mins

13 Jul 2009

Rank #8

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Maureen and Sam Are Back From Bolivia - Podcast #39

Maureen brought back her Muneca in traditional dress ( Cholita) Sam brought back a flute They tell me about their art lessons, Piano and school. I think their stay in Bolivia will connect them to the country for a lifetime.

5mins

13 Jul 2009

Rank #9

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A Family Returns From Bolivia - Podcast #38

Many people ask about taking their children on assignment. Geoff Ripat and Jill Cooper have recently returned from Bolivia. They left 4 year and 7 months ago with their two lovely children. Maureen was 6 when she left and is 11 now. She speaks beautiful Spanish. Maureen was 6 when she left. She talks about friends and how much she misses Bolivia in English and Spanish. Sam Ripat was 3 when he left Canada and is now 8 years old. He too met good friends and can speak Spanish. CUSO-VSO has sent over 12,000 people overseas including families in the last 48 years. After meeting many alumni and their children I think this work has changed families, from language to having a more compassionate view of people around the world. Thanks Maureen and Sam . It was so good to meet you.

9mins

13 Jul 2009

Rank #10