Save the Lives of Moms and Babies Around the World with Cuso International

Having had four babies in Canada I must say we are very fortunate for such great healthcare available to us. From before you even get pregnant we have access to education and healthcare to give us the best chance at a healthy pregnancy and birth. I never worried about finding a Dr close by or having access to a medical professional while carrying my children. Thinking back now to everything, I feel very lucky to live in a country that allows us all to have access to the care we need. Not every woman in the world is as fortunate as us when it comes to having healthcare during and after pregnancy.

This is why I am so happy to introduce you all to Cuso International and the The Cuso CAN Fund.

Cuso International’s volunteers offer a wide range of skills, both medical and non-medical, to improve the quality of health care in facilities; to empower women and men to make informed health decisions; and to encourage women to seek care from trained health professionals.   Canadian volunteer doctors and midwives are working directly with their Ethiopian counterparts on:

  • Monitoring fetal heart rates
  • Managing complications such as pre-eclampsia, post-partum hemorrhage and uterine rupture
  • Conducting newborn health assessments
  • Improving hospital protocols that encourage better patient care and record keeping such as…
    • developing operating room checklists
    • showing nurses how to use medication administration records and weekly activity reports
    • encouraging staff to discuss critical cases and share lessons learned


The project also involves volunteers with expertise in health education, gender, hospital administration, communications, community development, nutrition, and project management.

These volunteers assess and improve the behaviours, processes and approaches that support better health, but are not direct medical interventions. For example, a health education or communications advisor will help the local government health bureau develop community-based health education campaigns. Or, a nutrition advisor will help improve nutrition practices and services for moms and babies.


Who are they reaching?

  • 8,750 women and newborns
  • 3,130 health workers
  • 390 government health staff
  • 140 staff of civil society organizations

The project is taking place in Ethiopia’s regions of Beneshangul-Gumuz and Oromia. In these regions, there are many communities with limited access to health care, but also local health partners who are dedicated to improving their services and reaching more women and children. Canadian volunteers will be sharing their expertise with health facilities and midwifery training institutions.

How does health care compare?

More than 80% of Ethiopian women give birth without a skilled health worker.
A woman in Ethiopia is 55x more likely to die during childbirth than a woman in Canada.

One doctor for 26,943 people
One nurse or midwife for 4,237 people
Maternal mortality rate: 482 out of every 100,000 mothers
Under-five mortality rate: 59 out of every 1,000 births


One doctor for 484 people

One nurse or midwife for 102 people
Maternal mortality rate: 7 out of every 100,000 mothers
Under-five mortality rate: 5 out of every 1,000 births

Although Ethiopia has been steadily improving access to health care for women and children, the country still has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Africa. Not only is there a shortage of doctors, nurses and midwives, but simply getting to a health facility can be extremely challenging for women – especially those living in remote, rural areas, who rarely have the time or money to seek professional care. Even if a woman goes to a hospital, health workers don’t always have the specialized training to offer her high quality services.

You can help get these volunteers to Ethiopia to support the families and communities in need. The Cuso CAN Fund was established to give you the chance to support Cuso International’s high priority maternal and child health projects in Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

All these highly skilled, dedicated volunteers can only contribute their time and talents with the support of generous donors like you!

Donations can be made online at or over the phone 1-888-431-8621


disclosure-This is a sponsored posts, all opinions are my own 


  1. Heather Lynne says

    Thanks for sharing this! A great organization, doing important things.It’s so crazy to see the stat comparisons between here and there! and sad that more hasn’t been done.

  2. The work of organizations like CUSO is extremely important. I have an older cousin from Guelph actually who worked with them for years in Africa…He was stationed many places and while he didn’t do maternal health he worked in the area of agriculture and access to clean water with Cuso. He has returned to Canada and has family here now. Actually he got married in Ghana, I think, and then they returned to Canada to raise their family here. We are beyond fortunate as Canadians. Our health care, although people like to complain, is in fact one of the best systems in the world in terns of access and success. I am saddened to read the rates of maternal and infant mortality are so high in Ethiopia. When I was in Zambia with the UN Fellowship last year I saw first hand why this can be such a huge issue. It is a completely different landscape and there are so many natural barriers to health care in many countries within Africa. SUPER to read that CUSO works hard on addressing health care gaps and issues by supporting families in Ethiopia

  3. Wow. When you look at the numbers, it really brings it home how different mothers’ and babies’ experiences are between here and Ethiopia. We take for granted how blessed we are to have free, universal health care for (almost) all Canadians.

    We always choose one or two charities to support each Christmas. Thanks for letting us know about CUSO, I think they will be on our list this year.

  4. How have I not heard of CUSO before? The work they do is amazing and truly impactful. I’m going to research a bit more so I can start supporting them as much as I can. Thanks for bringing them to my attention! .

  5. I haven’t heard of CUSO before, but it sounds like an excellent project! Having something like CUSO for those without the available healthcare that many of us have is so important.

  6. Thanks for creating awareness about CUSO. I had never heard of it before but love what they do! I have a friend who is a medical doctor and has volunteered quite a bit of time in various parts of Africa where conditions are similar to Ethiopia. Her stories are heartbreaking and yet hopeful too, because she was able to provide care for so many that otherwise would have had none.

  7. I just love this organization. Thank you so much for sharing more about it. I will check them out for sure.

  8. Victoria Ess says

    I definitely don’t think about how lucky I am to be born in Canada enough. Thanks for sharing information about this program.

  9. Courtney Blacher says

    I love hearing an organization like this! This is such a big help for those moms need it!

  10. Those are some scary statistics about how many health professionals they have in Ethiopia. It is great there are organisations helping to make that better.

  11. Cuso international is such a great organization. We definitely got to do more to help those who are less fortunately around the world. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This sounds like a great organization! Thanks for sharing <3

  13. This is such an amazing organization! Keeping mom and baby safe is so important no matter where you live.

  14. I haven’t heart of CUSO before. But it does sound like they are doing amazing things out there. They are definitely spreading love to the world by helping mothers give birth and keep their babies safe.

  15. Claudia Krusch says

    This is such important work this organization is doing. I love to support things like this. I will have to go to the website and donate right away.

  16. Organizations like these are extremely important. This sounds like a wonderful cause that helps a lot of people.

  17. Some really good and detailed information..thanks for sharing!!

  18. I am extremely happy whenever I learn about organizations like this. There are so many countries who are really in need of volunteer groups like this. Good to learn about their advocacy.

  19. Hope more organizations would help people who are really in need!! Sending love and prayers for all of them for holidays and years to come!

  20. Wow, what an amazing initiative! This is such a needed organization.

  21. Why does it have to be like this. There has to be better healthcare for ALL period but glad this is doing something about it for Ethiopian women.

  22. Cuso International seems like a good organization. I’ll tell my mom friends about this!

  23. Thanks for creating awareness of the needs of people living in less fortunate countries. As citizens of the developed world I think that we can definitely do more for people in need.

  24. Thanks for such an amazing and much needed post. I didnt know about this organization until now. Great work!

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