Getting Ready for Swaziland

Camille, Maureen, Kelsey and Deo in the Toronto Crossroads office during training.

Tomorrow I leave for Swaziland, an absolute monarchy that is the size of New Jersey with a population of 1.1 million. While I’m sweltering here in a Canadian summer, Swaziland is experiencing its winter. It gets as low as 8 degrees C. Yikes. Packing has been a challenge.

My posting is through Crossroads International and I’ll be working as a communications officer with their partner, an organization called Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA). The organization provides support and counseling for women and children who have experienced gender-based violence, plus it advocates for policy change.

Crossroads has been around for 50 years and is largely funded by the Canadian government. Last week I had three days of training at the Crossroads HQ in Toronto. We covered logistics and cultural sensitivity and I was able to meet fellow volunteers who will be in Swaziland at the same time as me. Camille will be doing marketing for Gone Rural, a cooperative that makes high end table decorations (10,000 Villages carries the line), and Deo will be doing monitoring and evaluation for Family Life Association (FLAS). Kelsey will be going to Ghana to be a communications officer with WiLDAF, an NGO that helps women learn about their legal rights.

If you’d like to support Crossroads and the work I will be doing in Swaziland, please go to my Crossroads donation page.

What an adventure we are all on.Ā  Next posting will be from Swaziland!

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