Is your employer a Leave for Change partner?
Then you have the opportunity to live a personal and professional growth experience while participating in a three to four week volunteer assignment in a developing country!
Leave for Change is all about sharing your skills while supporting and strengthening our overseas partners. Volunteers act as advisors sharing skills with overseas partner staff responding to their needs.
You will gain a wider understanding of international global development issues, gain valuable intercultural experiences, expand your skill set and meet interesting people along the way.
Volunteers must have the required professional qualifications for their assignment, but because of the shorter term length of the assignments we seek volunteers who are very adaptable and able to immerse themselves into their new work environment quickly.
The volunteer cycle
Did you make sure that your employer is a Leave for change partner? Then contact your Human Resources representative to find out about your company’s application process.
Promising candidates will be be contacted for an interview (either by the employer or Uniterra). Your resume will also be shared with our country office and partners in country for their review and final decision.
Fundraising and outreach
Once you are selected, it is the perfect time to raise awareness about international development, international volunteering and to share with your friends and family information on where you will be volunteering and the kind of work you will be doing. Should you be interested in fundraising, tools will be made available to support your efforts.
Once your final selection is confirmed you will be invited to attend a two-day mandatory pre-departure training. The training is an important opportunity to meet other volunteers and staff, learn more about the Uniterra program's work and your role as a volunteer.
Departure for assignment
Your departure date will be determined based on your’s and the local partner’s availability and your employer’s approval. During your volunteer assignment abroad, you will share your knowledge, skills and expertise within a particular project with one of our local partners.
Monitoring and evaluation
As a key contributor to the implementation of Uniterra programming, you will be engaged in monitoring and evaluation reporting activities.
Return to Canada
After your return to Canada, you will be invited to create your own outreach activities to raise awareness about the importance of international cooperation. You will also be invited to take part in a debriefing of your experience. We look forward to hearing your stories and talking to you about how you can stay engaged with Uniterra in Canada!
- How do I apply?
First, find out about your company’s application process.
Please visit the current advertised positions online. If you do not see a position that matches your skill-set, we encourage you to apply anyways as other opportunities are always available. The listed positions represent a small percentage of the skills and knowledge from which our local partner organizations could benefit.
If you are selected for an interview, Uniterra staff will provide you with additional informational about the possible positions that would match your skills and experience.
- What do Leave for Change volunteers do?
Leave for Change is all about capacity-building. This means volunteers train others in their field of expertise. Volunteers do not act as employees, but as advisors who transfer skills to local staff so as to build their host organization’s capacity in a certain area.
- Can spouses or significant others participate?
No, it is not possible for spouses or significant others to participate.
- What will my accommodation be like?
Accommodations will be consistent with local standards, they will be safe, clean and basic.
- Can I make stopovers to and/or from the country I will be volunteering in? Can I extend my stay?
Uniterra will issue the airline tickets with no stopovers or extensions built in. The Government of Canada’s, which finances the Uniterra program, does not allow volunteers to go in advance of their assignment or to extend their stay following the completion of their assignment. For reasons of security and legal responsibility, volunteers can not make changes to their flight itinerary, even if the volunteer covers the cost of changing their plane ticket. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
- Do I need to make a financial contribution?
In most cases, volunteers do not have to contribute financially because their employer has accepted to make the contribution on their behalf. In other cases, the employer shares the contribution with its employees which allows the employer to make the opportunity available to more employees. In those cases, your employer will clarify the approach during the recruitment process.
Pre-departure training, vaccinations, visas, flights, lodging, a per-diem for food and local travel required for work are covered by the Uniterra program.
- In case of accident or illness while I am abroad, am I insured?
Yes. The Uniterra program provides all its volunteers with an insurance policy that includes important items such as hospitalization and medical evacuation, reimbursement of medication and vaccinations.
- Is there an evacuation policy in case of serious problems in the host country?
Yes. We have an office in each of the countries where Leave for Change assignments take place. There is an emergency protocol established in each country. Our staff in the host country are responsible for assisting volunteers in case of serious social, medical or environmental problems in the host country.
Saba Usmani, Leave for change volunteer from Ashbury College
Assignment: Employment Research advisor, Mongolia
“For those reading this blog who are thinking of applying for the Leave for Change stream of the Uniterra program – just do it.
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a vacation. But I’ve enjoyed every single second of my experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Leanne Piper- Leave for Change volunteer
from the University of Guelph
Assignment: Website designer, Tanzania
I had a life changing volunteer opportunity with the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal (FWEAN ). The assignment with my partner organization involved conducting workshops on Leadership and Management to women entrepreneurs, while promoting women entrepreneurship through advocacy, networking, information dissemination, and capacity building. During my 3 week stay I fully embraced Nepali fashion, culture, traditions, and cuisine. The knowledge I gained while teaching in Nepal will follow me for the rest of my academic career. My Leave for Change was an experience of a lifetime and I will cherish the memories forever.
-Jennifer Dawson, Humber College Professor
and Program Coordinator
“What better way to develop leadership skills than to jump right in!” (...) Upon reflection, there are only gains from this
- Christine Martinet, Leave for Change volunteer from the Canadian Medical Association
Assignment: Human Resource Advisor, Sri Lanka
Find the right assignment for you on the map below. Or view all assignments available for Corporate Volunteering.