Thompson Rivers University

Leave for Change

  Posted on: March 1, 2017

Waldemar Miszkurka during his trip to Tanzania.

The name Leave for Change says it all—take your annual vacation and be the change you want to see in the world.

For the third year, TRU will be sponsoring up to four faculty and staff members to participate in the Leave for Change program to volunteer in developing countries, sharing knowledge and skills with others in an international setting.

Leave for Change enables you to transform your annual vacation into short-term assignments (2-3 weeks) in a developing country. During the assignment, contribute your skills and advice to a development project with the support of professionals in the host country.

If you have ever thought about volunteering abroad, this could be the experience you have been waiting for.

Six reasons to leave for change:

1. Enrich your life

Gain new world perspectives and cross-cultural awareness while making a positive, lasting change in developing countries.

“By devoting your time and expertise, leave for change volunteers contribute towards the betterment of the disadvantaged members of the societies in which you live and work,” said faculty member and program participant, Waldemar Miszkurka, who did his volunteer work in Tanzania.

2. Expand your horizons

Expand your professional horizons by gaining a better understanding of our globalized societies and markets. Become immersed in a new culture while volunteering your time and skill sets to a greater cause.

3. Gain appreciation

Gain an appreciation for the communities in which you are placed and return to work with a positive outlook on life and a sense of gratitute for the opportunities you have been given.

“My Leave for Change experience gave me an appreciation for the constant struggle facing women, youth, and others in the third world countries, leading to a better understanding of the world we live in,” said Miszkurka.

Miszkurka and Torreggiani with community members in Tanzania, Africa.


4. Make an impact

Achieve tangible results on specific development projects that make a real life impact.

“The entire time I was in Tanzania, I could not stop thinking about how fortunate I was to have this chance, this opportunity of a lifetime,” said Kim Torreggiani, program participant. “Not only did I feel that I was able to make an impact, I was given an experience that was far more effective than traditional professional development training.”

5. Enhance your resume

Cultivate your ability to adapt to new challenges. Gain analytical skills, open-mindedness and cross-cultural communications skills that will not only impact your current career but enhance your future.

6. It’s free

All you need to contribute is your vacation time. The cost of participating is covered through an agreement between TRU and Uniterra.

The Leave for Change program is open to all full-time TRU employees who have completed their probationary period. There are positions available in Africa, Asia and Latin America for a variety of professional skill sets. Leave for Change is run by Uniterra, a leading Canadian international volunteer cooperation program of which TRU became a member in April 2015.

Learn more about Leave for Change
To find out more about the Leave for Change Program, you can:

Attend the Leave for Change Program information session on March 3, 2017.

Attend the Leave for Change Program information session on March 7, 2017 during International Days.