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Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI)

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The Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) was founded in 1958, The mission of CECI is to combat poverty and exclusion. To this end, CECI builds the development capacities of disadvantaged communities. CECI supports peace building, human rights, and equity initiatives. CECI mobilize resources and promote exchanges of knowledge.

Uniterra, one of Canada’s largest international volunteer programs, was set up as a joint initiative of CECI and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in 13 countries on three continents.

Uniterra offers different ways for individuals and organizations to help meet the Millennium Development Goals, which include:

  • eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
  • achieving universal primary education
  • promoting gender equality and empowering women
  • reducing child mortality
  • improving maternal health
  • combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • ensuring environmental sustainability
  • developing a global partnership for development

Uniterra builds the capacities of partner organizations in developing countries so that they are better able to carry out their social and economic development initiatives. The program promotes multidirectional exchanges of expertise, knowledge, and know-how among Northern and Southern partners. For example, Canadian partners host volunteers in Canada for training programs or internships and send volunteers to participate in capacity building activities.

Uniterra volunteers play a tangible, hands-on role in poverty reduction work. Their mandates, determined by the local organizations, range from a few weeks to two years in length and fall within one of four sectors:

  1. basic education
  2. health and HIV-AIDS
  3. economic development, agriculture, and fair trade
  4. governance and gender equality