Volunteer Support Advisor

 PARTNER (S):  Catholic Development Commission of Malawi (CADECOM)
CONTRACT DURATION: Flexible duration (3-10 months)

Uniterra is a leading Canadian international volunteer cooperation and development program, jointly implemented by the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) and World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

Uniterra contributes to improving the socio-economic conditions of poor and marginalized communities in 14 countries and with over 200 partners in Africa, Asia and the Americas through the exchange of expertise and knowledge of Canadian and international volunteers. Uniterra believes that economic growth, when inclusive, is the most powerful driver of poverty reduction. The purpose of the Uniterra program is to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations by stimulating growth and facilitating access to the benefits of growing and diversified markets. To make this happen, we are working with our local partners to enhance the income of poor and marginalized women and youth through better access to employment and income generation opportunities. Uniterra country program staff work with our local partners to design Uniterra assignments in the context of the country strategy, supporting the inclusion of women and youth in key economic subsectors.

For more information on the Uniterra program, our approach and countries of focus please visit: Uniterra.ca.


The Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) works toward development by creating awareness and empowering disadvantaged men, women and youth. The programming approach is gender and environmentally sensitive, sustainable and promotes justice, human dignity and self-reliance with the active participation of community members for increased ownership. Projects implemented by CADECOM include disaster risk reduction, integrated food security, and water and sanitation. To learn more visit www.caritas.org/where-caritas-work/africa/malawi

The Volunteer Support Advisor will assist in the successful implementation of the Uniterra program through delivery of volunteer management activities in accordance with agreed standards of practice, policies and protocols.


  • Support volunteers to proactively manage issues or challenges that may arise throughout the duration of the assignment and to ensure that adequate personal and professional support is provided;

  • Coordinate and co-facilitate in-country orientation for volunteers in collaboration with the Volunteer Mobilization Team and country team, organize volunteer management training and briefing activities for local partner organizations using Uniterra designed lesson plans and materials;

  • Provide support to country team in the selection, recruitment and mobilization of volunteers recruited in-country;

  • Support the development of data management systems to ensure that tools and documents developed by volunteers are collected and made available to volunteers and country teams and other Uniterra teams;

  • Provide support and guidance to volunteers in managing health and safety issues;

  • Support the country team in communicating and implementing emergency and security procedures and protocols;

  • In collaboration with Sector Program Officer, ensure that all reporting requirements are submitted within agreed timelines (e.g. work plan, mid- and end-of-term reports);

  • In collaboration with the Sector Program Officer, build a strong understanding of the volunteers’ role and the support that will need to be provided by the partner and the Uniterra program;

  • Ensure the participation of women and youth, as well as their representation, in all activities and all program benefits;

  • Consolidate the results, document best practices and participate in the implementation of exit strategies; and

  • Write reports required by the Uniterra program.


  • Degree in human resources or volunteer management or a related discipline

  • Minimum 3 years of relevant experience, preferably in an international context

  • Excellent judgment and problem-solving skills

  • Intercultural communications skills, diplomacy

  • Experience with facilitation and training

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in cross-cultural environments

  • Demonstrated coaching or mentorship skills, including act and professionalism

  • A commitment to gender equality and youth inclusion, and volunteering

  • Written and oral fluency in English


  • Support and guidance prior to departure and while on assignment in country.

  • Participation in a pre-departure training where you will have the opportunity to learn about the program, gain practical skills for living and working in an intercultural context and meet other volunteers. Travel, meals and accommodation are covered.

  • In-country orientation and briefing upon arrival in country.

  • Language training in country where required.

  • Return flights, visas and work permits.

  • Cost of required country specific vaccinations and antimalarials.

  • Health insurance.

  • Modest monthly living allowance while overseas.

  • Accommodation while overseas.

  • Vacation leave entitlement.

  • Return debriefing in Canada after completion of assignment. Travel, meals and accommodation are covered.

  • An incredible opportunity to enhance your professional skills and participate in an experience of a lifetime!


  • Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada between the ages of 18-70.

  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa processes, medical clearance, police checks, and travel documentation).

  • With the support of the program, all volunteers shall undertake to make a minimum financial contribution of $1,500 for participating in the program.