CAUSE Canada

CAUSE Canada is a Christian-motivated international relief and development agency working in Central America and West Africa. CAUSE Canada is staffed by, and works with, people from all faiths and cultural backgrounds. CAUSE celebrates the diversity of humankind and recognizes the equality and dignity of all people. CAUSE Canada's development priorities include Education, Primary Health Care, Water and Sanitation, and Small Business Development/Micro-Lending.

Why we support CAUSE Canada

CAUSE is an organization whose leaders and staff reflect a wonderful mix of compassion, intelligence and experience. CAUSE was founded by Paul and Beverley Carrick, who have been in the “business” of overseas relief and development for over 35 years. CAUSE is deliberate in its thoughtful approach that recognizes development is a process rather than an end. CAUSE Canada plans, organizes, fundraises for, implements, and evaluates international development programs, in close long-term partnership with communities. It focuses on the strengths people and communities already possess and assists them to utilize those assets to become what they want to become. Example: 100% of CAUSE leadership and staff in Sierra Leone are Sierra Leonean! As fastidious as they are in stewardship of resources, planning, reporting and insistence on results, CAUSE people are never too task oriented to see the needs of each individual they serve. They are truly inspiring people!

In October of 2015, a team of Old Guys will be riding across Guatemala to raise funds for CAUSE's work there. As a result of CAUSE's great work, and long term successes in Guatemala, Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and Development (DFAD) has granted CAUSE funds - matching grants - to do some amazing mom and babies health improvement work. Old Guys in Action will be cycling across Guatemala, covering a total elevation of over 30,000 feet. They will ride at an elevation over 12,000 feet and be climbing and dropping at dizzying altitudes for 300 kms. The goal is to raise $40,000 which will be multiplied by DFAD. 

In 2012, the Old Guys support for CAUSE was focussed on their Birthing Hut program in Sierra Leone. The stat at that time was that mothers faced a horrendous 1:11 chance of dying through complications associated with childbirth. The equivalent statistic in Canada is 1:11,000. Read more about the Birthing Hut and other CAUSE Canada projects below, and visit their website at

Birthing Huts
Maternal and Child Health programs address primary causes of infant and maternal mortality in Sierra Leone through enabling women’s community groups to monitor perinatal health, training Traditional Birth Attendants, and building birthing huts where women and babies receive adequate care and rest.


CAUSE Kids is a child sponsorship program that take a holistic approach to helping children break free of the cycle of poverty. CAUSE Kids benefits the Koinadugu District of Sierra Leone with school meal programs, gardens, uniforms, school supplies, healthcare, infrastructure, and more.

CAUSE Kids School Agriculture & Nutrition
This project involves school gardens in which students learn sustainable agriculture and produce food to subsidize their meal program and help finance school operations. This project is a component of the CAUSE Kids child sponsorship program.

CAUSE Kids Peer Literacy

Secondary school girls pass on their skills to 500 elementary school students. For participating in the program, we pay the tutors' tuition and uniform costs for the year, helping them to continue their studies. This program is a component of the CAUSE Kids child sponsorship program. 

CAUSE Kids Teachers' Resource Centre

The Teachers Resource Centre project will provide teachers in Koinadugu with a central Teachers Resource Centre (TRC) where educators can access learning and instructional resources, information technology, teaching instruction, and a centre for education discourse, teacher training, and study. 

Women's Integral Empowerment Program

The Women’s Integral Empowerment Program (WIEP) will provide thousands of women in Guatemala, Honduras, and Sierra Leone with training in basic literacy and numeracy, business development and leadership. With microfinance opportunities, these skills help women build security and influence. 

Microfinance - Salone Women's Empowerment Trust
In collaboration with WIEP, Salone Women’s Empowerment Trust (SWET) is a nationally registered Microfinance Institution that improves quality of life of economically active marginalized women in Sierra Leone by offering sustainable financial services from a community development perspective. 

Here is a story for the field, a story of struggle and success.
In 2009, Mariama Sesay attended literacy classes in her hometown of Makakura where she learned to identify the letters of the alphabet and do basic math. She also practiced writing and learned how to sign her name. While these skills may seem simple to those who enjoy the privilege of education, they are indeed complex and can have surprising social impact.  

Mariama, like many of her classmates, is a farmer and businesswoman. Every year, after harvesting her mangoes, she travels to Freetown to sell them. This year, Mariama was blessed with a good harvest and she set out for Freetown with ten bags and one large basket filled with mangoes. Before loading her wares atop the bus, she took a marker and labelled all of her belongings. When she arrived at the Mango Association in Freetown, however, her basket was missing. It contained 45,000 Leones worth of mangoes, which is a large sum for a trader like Mariama. So, after securing her other bags, she set out in search of the missing mangoes.

It was not long before she spotted a man carrying her basket on his head, walking away from the bus. She ran after him and explained that the basket and the mangoes were hers. The man told her, however, that another woman had claimed the basket and sent him to retrieve it. Mariama protested and reached for her mangoes, knocking the basket to the ground. Seeing this, the other woman hurried over, grabbed Mariama by the collar and accused her of being a thief. A large crowd quickly gathered around the two women and the chairman of the Mango Society himself came to find out what was happening.  

Mariama boldly explained to him that she was not a thief as the basket of mangoes belonged to her. Not knowing what to believe, the chairman began to question her. How could she be sure the basket was hers? How could she prove it?  

“My name,” Mariama replied. “It is written on the basket.”  
“What is your name?” asked the chairmen.  
“Mariama Sesay.” She said, pointing to the label.  
The chairman continued to challenge her, “Spell your name for me.”
“Spell your surname” 

Still the chairman was not convinced. He sent someone for paper and asked Mariama to write her name in front of all the witnesses that had gathered there. Mariama reached into her bag and produced the same marker she had used to label her things back in Makakura. Then she wrote her name on the paper, exactly as it appeared on the basket. 

The crowd was very impressed to see a mango trader writing her own signature and they gave Mariama a round of applause. The chairman was also surprised.  “You are no thief,” he said, “The basket of mangoes is yours. You may take it and go.”

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