Unitarian Service Committee of Canada
The Unitarian Service Committee of Canada (USC Canada) is a non-profit, non-denominational, charitable organization that promotes vibrant family farms, strong rural roots, and healthy ecosystems around the world. With engaged Canadians and partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America, USC Canada supports programs, training, and policies that strengthen biodiversity, food sovereignty, and the rights of those at the heart of resilient food systems - women, indigenous peoples, and small-scale farmers.
Founded in 1945 by the late Dr Lotta Hitschmanova, USC's early mandate was to undertake relief and reconstruction activities in war-ravaged countries in Europe. Over the years USC's work has evolved to focus almost entirely on long-term, sustainable development programs. Rooted in social justice values and a clear sense of mission, USC Canada aims to help farmers in the Global South build and control sustainable food production systems so they can stay on their lands, feed their families and generate solid livelihoods. The organization also seeks to influence global food production policies and practices that nurture fertile landscapes, and regenerate the water, soils and vegetation that seeds, plants and animals depend on.
All international projects being supported are identified by the communities themselves. USC and its partners work directly with the local people to increase their ability to become more self-reliant by making the best possible use of local resources.
An important part of USC Canada's work involves engaging Canadians to act on the basis of shared convictions. Work in Canada is geared towards creating a strong, well-informed constituency for international development through four key areas: public engagement, communication, fundraising and policy advocacy. Through these venues, USC Canada builds awareness and support in Canada for international social change.
USC Canada is governed by a volunteer board of directors that includes representatives both from Canada and overseas. USC's Canadian and international programs are funded by a variety of sources including donors, foundations and businesses, the CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA), and other federal and provincial agencies.