Attract, develop and retain your talent

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Employees today are looking for meaningful opportunities to grow and give back. Sharing skills in an intercultural context is one of the most transformative experiences for employees. 

Through our renowned leadership development program, you can offer your employees the personal and professional growth experience of a lifetime while participating in a short-term volunteer assignment in a developing country.  


Join over 50 Canadian employers who have enhanced employee loyalty, engagement and skills through Leave for Change™. 

L4C benefits


Through partnership with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Uniterra is able to cost-share program expenses with employers to provide a comprehensive, tailored placement for your employees.

More information for employers

Through our renowned, tailored 3-4 week program in the developing world, employees are personally and professionally transformed.  

Increased employee performance.

Both past Leave for Change™  participants and their employers remark on increases in employee:

  • Adaptability, creativity, innovation
  • Cross-cultural competency and global perspective
  • Skills to conduct business overseas (for businesses) or global perspective which can be transferred to the classroom (for institutions)
  • Motivation, satisfaction, loyalty, retention

Better company returns than leadership courses.

  • Research shows that overseas placements provide improved benefits-to-cost over traditional leadership courses.
  • Companies are able to promote their employee Leave for Change™  participation as a concrete expression of their global corporate citizenship.

The Leave For Change™ difference

We know skills and leadership training.

The beauty of Leave for Change™ is in the mutual learning that occurs, both for your employee and the developing country organization he/she is placed in.

Skills your employee transfers are essential for our overseas partner organizations as a component of our long-term development efforts in these communities.  This ultimately creates economic opportunities, particularly for women and youth.  Your company contributes to strengthening the performance of overseas organizations and communities while building the performance of your employees.

We know how to work in the developing world.

Leave for Change™, a program of Uniterra, was established by two renowned and trusted international NGOs – World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Centre for International Study and Cooperation (CECI).  We have long-established relationships and operations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.  The experience, relationships and networks of our Canadian-based and in-country staff in these markets are key to a safe and successful learning experience.

We handle all of the details.

Our experienced Canadian and in-country staff work with trusted placement organizations to provide:

  • Employer counsel, including employee selection support
  • Pre-departure training
  • All logistics including housing, air travel and pick-up, medical insurance, visas
  • Debriefing upon return

We are present through the placement to support your employee’s adaptation, ensuring a productive, reflective and safe learning experience.

We manage the unexpected.

Uniterra is also prepared and experienced to handle the unexpected. 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. Uniterra staff in the host country are responsible for assisting volunteers in case of serious social, medical or environmental problems in the host country. The insurance policy that Uniterra provides includes important items such as hospitalization and medical evacuation.

Let's talk about Change: Contact info

For further information, please contact one of our partnership advisors:

Sylvain Matte
t: (514) 875-9911 x257         
Mary Beshai
t: (613) 761-3365              

FAQ for employees

1) What is Leave for Change?

Leave for Change (L4C) is a program that offers professional and personal development to staff while providing strong support to organizations in developing countries. The program enables employees from participating organizations and companies to transform part of their annual vacation into a three to four week volunteer assignment in a developing country. L4C is a component of the Uniterra Program, a leading Canadian international volunteer cooperation program, funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and implemented jointly by World University Service Canada (WUSC) and the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI).

2) 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. Country preferences of volunteers are taken into consideration but we can not guarantee that a volunteer will be sent to his/her preferred country.

3) Can spouses / significant others participate?


4) What type of accommodation is provided?

Accommodations are consistent with local standards. They will be clean and basic.

5) 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 Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), which finances the Uniterra program, does not allow volunteers to go in advance of their mandate or to extend their stay in the host country following their mandate. 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.

6) What are the qualities of the successful volunteer?

Adaptability and the capacity to relate on a human level are key. Volunteers must have the required professional qualifications for their particular posting, but personal qualities and relevant experiences are also very important.

7) To what are participants committing? 

Volunteers commit to giving time and a lot of themselves! Before departure, volunteers must participate in a 2-day training session, generally on a weekend. During their 3-4 week volunteer assignment abroad, volunteers share their knowledge, skills and expertise within a particular project with one of our overseas partners. After their return to Canada, volunteers create their own public engagement activities to raise awareness about the importance of international cooperation. They also take part in debriefings. 

8) Do I have to pay for part of the travel costs?

No, in the majority of cases, you do not have to pay as your employer has accepted to cover part of the costs, and Uniterra covers the rest. Included, among others is: pre-departure training, vaccinations, visas, flights, lodging, food and local travel required for work.

9) In case of accident or disease while I’m abroad, am I insured?

Yes. Uniterra provides all its volunteers with an insurance policy that includes important items such as hospitalization and medical evacuation, reimbursement of medication and vaccinations.

10) 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. Uniterra staff in the host country are responsible for assisting volunteers in case of serious social, medical or environmental problems in the host country.

Current openings

The positions advertised here have been developed by the local partner organizations and are part of their capacity-building and organizational development plan. These however represent just a small percentage of the skills and knowledge from which our local partner organizations could benefit. If you do not see a position that matches your skill set, do not be discouraged. You are encouraged to apply anyway during the recruitment period for your employer. On your application form, please include the professional skills that you think you could contribute to our local partner organizations. If you are selected for an interview, the Leave for Change Program Officer will provide you with additional informational about the possible positions that would match your skills and experience.

Consult the list of positions currently open for recruitment

¿Habla Español? Parlez-vous Français?
Every year, we have a shortage of candidates for mandates in countries which require language skills in French (Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal) or Spanish (Bolivia, Peru and Guatemala), therefore if you speak either of these languages at an intermediate to advanced level, you are encouraged to apply for a position that will allow you to utilize your second-language skills. If you do not see a position in either Latin America or West Africa that matches your skill set, on your application form please include the professional skills that you think you could contribute to our local partner organizations.

Volunteers' blogs

Check out our Leave for Change™ volunteers' blogs:

Blogues CS


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