Carol Munro is a dedicated community volunteer in BC, working with Habitat for Humanity, Slow Food Vancouver, and others. She had followed Cuso International’s work for years, and about 15 years ago, decided it was time to get involved.
Knowing that world development organizations often have the money, but lack the necessary volunteer skillsets to do the work, she looked for ways she could apply her career in food safety to the organization.
At that time, however, opportunities in her area were few, and no postings were offered. Determined to find a role for herself, and at the urging of a former Cuso International staffer to try again, Carol applied once more, this time with an emphasis on her business background. Soon, she was on her way to Savannakhet, a small town in Laos, to work with the local Chamber of Commerce as a Business Advisor.
And once again, persistence paid off, as today she finds herself still in Laos, now working in her specific field, as she advises on food safety with AgroAsie—a social enterprise in Ventiane that hires local workers and is seen as a national leader in organic and sustainable farming. “They also have a food processing facility, so my role has been to help the company and staff to become successful in improving food safety to world class standards.”
“I love Laos! I love the diversity in the people, the food, and the landscape,” Carol declares. She feels lucky to have been able to see the country’s many facets, from the capital and main tourist areas to its rural countryside and small towns.
As she prepares to return to Canada after two years abroad, Carol plans to continue working with AgroAsie as an e-volunteer, and is in discussion with Cuso International to schedule follow-up visits to ensure the organization’s continued success.