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Walking for women’s rights: a mother and son story

For Libby Wildman, Toronto-based businesswoman and long-time Crossroads’ supporter, teaching her three kids about giving back is a priority. When she and her 17-year-old son, Robbie heard about Crossroads 60th anniversary Charity Challenge trek in Tanzania, they researched women’s rights issues affecting the country and decided it would be a good cause to dive into.

“Being taken out of your comfort zone and witnessing what’s going on is so impactful you want to take action. Change starts when you feel seed of activism and passion,” shared Libby who thinks that this kind of initiative could help spark seeds of change in the next generation, starting with her son.

As this trek was his first experience outside North America, Robbie decided to leave his phone behind to be completely disconnected from his everyday life and really enjoy discovering a new country and culture and interact more with the people around him.

Both Libby and Robbie said they were moved by the partner visit with KWIECO as they learned more about Female Genital Mutilation, violence against women and children, teenage pregnancies and the consequences they have on girls and their education or the weight of cultural norms in Tanzania. Libby shared that she was happy that Robbie got to better understand women’s rights issues by listening to Mama Minde, a lawyer and KWIECO’s Managing Director, or talking during the trek with Crossroads’ Executive Director, Carine Guidicelli and other trekkers.

This trek set a spark for Robbie who wants to keep being involved with Crossroads and those issues. “It changed my views upon life. It made me understand how fortunate we are,” Robbie concluded.

Libby who supports Crossroads approach of working with partners and volunteers and empowering local people and organizations so they can meet the needs of their communities was enlightened by the trip and more particularly the visit with Mama Minde who allowed her to better understand what was at stake and the different programs developed.

“It was incredible meeting a leader like Mama Minde who works selflessly to help the women and girls that come to the shelter,” said Libby.

On top of the physical challenge they overcome by walking more than 100 km, this trek gave them an opportunity to spend a very special time together taking concrete steps for change.