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VOICE for Women and Girls - Volunteer Cooperation Program

CDF Canada - Women in Malawi Trained on sew reusable sanitary pads - VOICEWNG Project
Credit: Mitesh Sankhar, 2022

Cooperative Development Organisation

Implementing Partners and Organisations

The Ethio-Wetlands Natural Resources Association (EWNRA)
Social Enterprise Development Ghana (SEND-Ghana)
The African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Association (ACCOSCA)
The Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK)
The Malawi Federation of Cooperatives Ltd 

Period of Implementation

April 2020 - March 2027

Geographic scope

Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal


$ 14,118,700
€ 12 984 262


Multilateral Aid: Global Affairs Canada


Agriculture & Fisheries, Climate & Environment, Rural Development

Type of Activity

Training & Capacity Building


The VOICE for Women and Girls program is a seven-year initiative that is aimed at strengthening the performance of Developing Country Partner (DCP) organizations to advance gender equality and economic empowerment of 50,000 women and men from marginalized communities, in particular young women (60% women and girls),in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and Malawi.

VOICE for Women and Girls will harness the knowledge, capacity, and expertise of 245 skilled Canadian volunteers (235 North-South volunteers and 10 E-Volunteers),28 South-North volunteers and 14 National Volunteers to assist Developing Country Partners in improving their performance, advocating for gender equality, and implementing more sustainable, innovative, and inclusive initiatives of services, particularly for women.

Women are more vulnerable than men, as they face gender-based discrimination, largely due to deeply rooted stereotypes, cultural norms, and practices. The program will strive to address these barriers and challenges faced by women and girls over its 7-year duration and will advance initiatives that specifically focus on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls, and Growth that Works for Everyone.

Project Objectives

VOICE for Women and Girls aims to respond to the needs identified by women and men of cooperatives in the countries of operation to increase the capacities of individual producers, primary cooperatives and credit unions to support more inclusive, sustainable, an resilient growth. The program will leverage CDF Canada’s expertise in the cooperative and credit union sectors to address challenges and empower women and communities through interventions such as:

  • To provide training on production, marketing, and managing business
  • To provide financial literacy training and access to finance
  • Mentorship and coaching through the Women’s Mentorship Program (WMP)
  • Initiation of Gender Model Family (GMF), which focuses on creating intergenerational changes

Impact on SDGs

SDG5 - Gender Equality
SDG8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Main Indicators

# of women and girls from marginalized groups, benefiting from the Volunteer Cooperation Program initiatives, reported to have improved economic and social wellbeing (women, girls, men, boys)

%total respondents (w/m) in targeted communities who show improved willingness to accept women in leadership and economic decision-making

% total of direct beneficiaries (w/m), indicating improvement in services provided by primary co-op

%/total increase in the participation of marginalized and vulnerable people (including women) in co-op activities

# of Canadians (women/men) mobilized to support Canada’s international development efforts through informed action and long-term commitment

Direct beneficiaries

Individuals: 50000

Key Tags

Environment, Food Security, Gender