CECI strongly believes in the power of volunteer cooperation as a development tool.
The commitment of thousands of volunteers on the ground has made our work possible, with sometimes brilliant results in development. Their involvement, altruism, readiness and day-to-day hard work with local partners are a testament to their devout solidarity and desire to work together to build a better world.
The volunteer cooperation programs operated by CECI and its partners mobilize more than 500 volunteers each year from Canada and the global South. These volunteers work with 120 local partners encompassing 800 organizations that offer services to the people.
The Rosario Demers Prize recognizes the outstanding commitment of one such volunteer.
The volunteer must have:
- been a volunteer in Canada or abroad for an international volunteer cooperation program managed by CECI (including Uniterra, PCV Haiti or an older program)
- been recognized for their outstanding commitment and/or contribution to one or more specific development projects
- made a significant contribution to CECI’s mission—to combat poverty and exclusion—during and in addition to one or more international volunteer assignments
- helped promote CECI and contribute to its advancement.
This prize is an homage to Rosario Demers, who passed away in 2015. A humanist, intellectual and visionary, Mr. Demers forged a path that was paved with the fundamental values of international cooperation. His commitment and his vision of volunteerism and training as the bedrock of change became a pillar of his volunteer coaching model and has guided a range of actions, projects and teaching curricula.
Mr. Demers was with CECI at the very beginning. He primarily helped train volunteers, but also worked with the general public. For over 20 years, he was an exemplary teacher who shared his knowledge of intercultural relations and approach to working abroad. In 2008, he received CECI’s Study and Training Award for the organization’s 50th anniversary.
Mr. Demers was also the director of CECI’s Haiti offices from 1985 to 1989 and always kept a place in his heart for the country. His history of missionary work in Africa helped him find his path in international cooperation, from which he never strayed. Mr. Demers became a Member of the Corporation of CECI in 2007.