Location Ibagué, Colombia
Start Date Apr - Jun 2017 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months
Language Requirements Spanish, English
Spanish Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4
English Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4
Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Please submit a Spanish Cover Letter and Statement of Interest
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents only
We're looking for a volunteer like you to support each of the producers that work with Fruandes in providing financial and business expertise so that each farm can function as a successful and sustainable small business.
Cuso International collaborates with different types of partners for our work throughout value chains, including private sector companies, to help the communities we work with to achieve sustainable growth and change.
Fruandes - an ethical and environmentally-responsible company supports the local production and processing of organic products, mainly of exotic tropical fruits, panela and cacao. Currently, Fruandes is experiencing a phase of rapid growth and for that reason it is crucial that this growth is both organic and sustainable starting from the base of the value chain: the producers.
Therefore, we need someone like you to strengthen these small producers in financial management skills so that they can understand their own economic growth. You'll train them in business administration and book-keeping, budgeting, sales and production projections (i.e. how they understand growth), cost-out production, and re-thinking on how their farms can and should function as sustainable small businesses. Part of this process will include looking for ways to value and promote the contributions of women and youth in each producer.
Fruandes, our partner organization, has supported more than 85 hectares of certified organic production in 6 departments of the Andean region of the Colombia where they produce pineapple, mango, bananas, dragon fruit, Andean berries, sugar cane and cocoa.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Analyze current (and previous) use of communications channels and messages.
- Conduct interviews with Business Manager, Designer, former Strategy Consultant and Communications Manager to help develop the communications strategy.
- Support the Communications team in strategizing and other activities as needed in order to develop a global outreach strategy.
Essential Academic Qualifications:
Educational background in Communications, Media studies, Public Relations, Advertising or a number of years of relevant work experience in these areas.
Essential Professional Background:
- Experience assessing the communications (internal/external) needs of a growing business.
- Experience synthesizing analysis into actionable recommendations.
- Experience creating campaigns for external audiences re: added-value of Fairtrade, organic, locallly-produced, value-chain products.
- Background in designing a communications strategy that can be implemented by a small business (sustainable/actionable), reviewing branding strategies and using different media to publicize Fruandes' links with their growing communities.
Operating as a B Corporation in Colombia, Frunandes specializes in producing, processing and commercializing Agro-Industrial organic products, to developed markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. The products, including dried fruits, sugar cane, and cocoa, operate under the guiding principles of Fair Direct Trade and Organic Production.
Fruandes works hand-in-hand with a community of small producers in 6 regions of the country (Narino, Cauca, Tolima, Cundinamarca, Huila, and Antioquia) and maintains a close relationship with all of their clients, locally and internationally.
The commitment to the environment and ecological production is reflected in their production process (both the cultivation and processing of dried fruit), which is certified with organic production standards in Colombia, North America, and Europe.
Respecting principles of Fair Direct Trade, the company works directly with an association of small and ecological producers in various regions of Colombia.
The profitable business model is based on building strategic alliances with small and ecological producers, with efforts to strengthen the productivity of the value chain and the agricultural integration model. The model is aimed at establishing productive alliances by building an internationally competitive society for the industry while offering value-added products to the market.
For further information about the company and their team in Colombia, please visit their website: http://www.fruandes.com/ or see the latest CBC article written about Fruandes' work: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/growing-opportunity-colombian-fruit-firm-looks-beyond-war-with-some-help-from-canada-1.3803388
Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.
- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)
- Accommodation while in placement
- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs
- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance
- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation
- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend
- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer
- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return
- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).
- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation
We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.
Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.
Residency and Citizenship
The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.
We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.
Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.
By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.
You must check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:
- Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
- Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.