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A big thank you to all our supporters and partners

You helped Crossroads International bolster support for critical services during COVID-19

Thanks to you and thousands of engaged citizens across Canada, Crossroads International led resilience efforts in 9 sub-Saharan countries.

For the past two years, Crossroads has worked to support local partners to deliver essential services and provide direct community support. Since its first outbreak in late 2019, COVID-19 has threatened women’s and girls’ livelihoods and wellbeing. The pandemic is exacerbating numerous issues in the Global South such as food insecurity, violence and abuse, and precarious healthcare systems.

Our work to empower women, girls, and entire communities to build resilience is even more critical in wake of the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Together with generous donors and volunteers, we helped partners pivot to virtual programming in the face of COVID-19 and offer essential and accessible services, from counselling for survivors of gender-based violence to providing emergency food kits to women farmers affected by lockdowns and broken supply chains.

WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE FACE OF COVID-19

FOOD SECURITY

Even before the pandemic, the Food and Agriculture Organization reported that 239 million were hungry in sub-Saharan Africa, already struggling with severe acute food insecurity. Crossroads worked to develop women’s resilience to climate change and increase their food security:

  • In Senegal, we partnered with APROFES and FAO to pilot a Farmers Field School. Through on-the-ground trainings, we increased women farmer’s knowledge of food security, nutrition, the agricultural ecosystem and modern techniques to adapt to climate change
  • We supported local partner RESOPP in its Drop by Drop program launch to increase livelihoods and food security for 1500 women farmers. Together we are dramatically increasing access to water, on 10 small garden perimeters exclusively managed by these female cooperative members.
  • Learn more about our work on food security, climate change, and economic empowerment for women.

 

VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

Confinement and quarantine measures led to a worldwide explosion of domestic violence cases and an ever-increasing risk for women and girls in developing countries who are even more vulnerable now that they can’t escape their home mentally as well as physically.

In response to this critical situation, GF2D (Groupe réflexion et d’action femme démocratie et développement) launched the project: Together to protect women and young girls from gender-based violence amplified by COVID-19 in Togo.

The project introduced an online counseling platform for survivors of violence and equipped six counseling centres with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), while 4,500 masks were distributed to the centres and surrounding communities. The online counselling platform, named AKOFA (the local word for comfort or consolation) offers legal advice and assistance to survivors of violence.

Witnesses can anonymously denounce cases of domestic abuse and access resources on gender-based violence and women’s rights. So far, over 900 people have accessed the platform and 112 cases were submitted and subsequently treated over the phone or online.

In addition to this:

  • We supported public awareness campaigns to advocate for practices that improve life for those impacted by gender inequality, and critical counseling and legal supports for victims of gender-based violence.
  • Crossroads continued work to end Female Genital Mutilation in Tanzania, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Togo through support to local partners who provide rights education and training on income-generating alternatives to former FGM practitioners.
  • We launched leadership programs for women and girls, empowering them out of violence and poverty through promotion of girls’ education, training on sustainable farming practices and economic empowerment for small-scale women’s businesses.
  • Learn more about our work to stop violence and abuse.

HEALTH

In countries where healthcare systems are unable to respond effectively, are ill-equipped or virtually nonexistent, in remote rural areas for example, the consequences on local communities are devastating.

Crossroads is supporting partner Pro-Link in Ghana to respond directly to the most urgent needs: access to running water, a new source of income for women farmers, and educating the communities on preventative measures and gender-based violence issues. Through its I-TRACK project, Pro-Link is training 100 women and 20 men to produce and distribute liquid soap and providing access to running water as well as Personal Protective Equipment.

In addition to this:

  • We provided emergency response and provision of PPE, sanitary kits, masks, to protect against COVID-19.
  • We are supporting the production of reusable sanitary pads for adolescent girls by women seamstresses in Eswatini who are now producing COVID-19 cloth protection masks.
  • Crossroads launched the project “My Voice, My Health: Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents in Kédougou, Senegal” aimed at improving the accessibility, quality and uptake of sexual and reproductive health services for teens in the region who are at risk of sex trafficking and early marriages.
  • Read more about our work in health and the rights of women and girls.

Thank you again for making this work possible and for everything you’re doing to help us build a movement of gender equality champions. Please consider donating to our COVID-19 response fund to continue our work and ensure the rights of women and girls are fulfilled.

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