The rain was the only unwelcome guest at Crossroads International’s 60th anniversary launch on Parliament Hill, on December 5th. Parliamentarians as well as Crossroads’ volunteers and partners gathered on International Volunteer Day to celebrate the contributions of Crossroads volunteers.
“Canada recognizes the added value brought by Crossroads International. Global Affairs Canada’s Volunteer Cooperation Program is successful thanks to viable and experienced partners like you,” Parliamentary Secretary – International Development, Celina Caesar Chavannes said in her remarks. She also highlighted Crossroads’ dedicated work for the most marginalized people, especially women, youth & rural community, in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“While working I could measure the progress we were making and how it would benefit either the social enterprise or the group of weavers. I left Swaziland having developed an even intense passion for economic development, especially through entrepreneurship and business development. Because at the end of the day, these women are entrepreneurs, and the targeted trainings and support that they receive will go a long way to ensuring that they can grow in their trades,” Tina Mbachu, two-time Crossroader in Swaziland, shared with the guests.
MP Rob Oliphant who sponsored the event, as well as Conservative Critic for International Development Ziad Aboultaif and NDP MP Linda Duncan also offered remarks supporting Canadian volunteer Cooperation.
Guests also learned about Crossroads’ 10-year partnership with Groupe de réflexion et d’action Femme, Démocratie et Développement (GF2D) in Togo through the words of Mawusé Yawa AKPAMA, Coordinator at GF2D, who explained how this partnership is helping women and girls victims of violence. Crossroads International’s partners from Burkina Faso, Coalition Burkinabé pour les Droits de la Femme (CBDF) and Association d’Éveil et d’appui Pugsada (ADEP), also attended the event.
After the event, Ziad Aboultaif read a statement in the House to recognize Crossroads and its “work to create a more equitable and sustainable world by eliminating poverty and supporting equality”.
Throughout the day, Crossroads volunteers met and had great conversations with MPs, Senators and political staffers about how volunteer cooperation is leveraging Canadian expertise to advance equality for women and girls.
You can find pictures from the day here.