Projects and Partnerships
Abantu for Development
Founded in 1991 by African women living in London, Abantu for Development strives to eradicate the entrenched cultural, legal and political obstacles to women attaining economic independence and equality before the law. It aims to ensure the advancement of women's interests, benefiting men and women as equal partners. Abantu's approach to development is based on a people-centered philosophy, one that is participatory, African and gender-centered. Abantu has been working with Crossroads International in a partnership project since 2007 that is seeing them collaborate with the YWCA of Canada.
Women in Law and Development-Ghana (WiLDAF-Ghana)
WiLDAF Ghana is a non-governmental organization committed to the protection and promotion of women’s rights. It is a member of the pan-African WiLDAF network, active in 31 countries across the African continent. WiLDAF works to improve women’s access to justice as well as increase women’s participation in democracy through a combination of advocacy, training, legal literacy, education and research.
WiLDAF is a member of NetRight, the network for women’s rights in Ghana, and also benefits from the support from its pan-African network. The organization demonstrates great leadership in advocacy locally, nationally and internationally through its collaborative work with members and coalitions. For example, WiLDAF was instrumental in the adoption of the Protocol on the Rights of Women to the African Charter and was extremely active in lobbying for the adoption of the Ghana Domestic Violence Act. WiLDAF has been working with Crossroads International since 2007 in a partnership project which also involves the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC)
Founded in 1993, Pro-Link works to bring about development opportunities for the rural poor, especially women and girls. Its mission is to advocate for and empower disadvantaged people to improve their health, educational and socio-economic status. To achieve its objectives, Pro-Link’s efforts embrace a broad cross-section of rural development and advocacy issues, including reproductive health and education, HIV/AIDS, child survival, income generation, vocational training, and food security. Pro-Link has supported successful programs in six districts and 70 communities in Ghana. Pro-Link has been a working with Crossroads International since 2006.
Association des femmes de la Médina (AFEME)
The Association des femmes de la Médina (AFEME) is an organization for women living in Médina, one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Its mission is to promote the interests of Médina’s women within the broader goal of promoting the rights of all Senegalese women. AFEME’s activities focus on micro-finance, women’s entrepreneurship, and supporting the needs of Medina’s women by developing income-generating activities and housing cooperatives, increasing awareness of reproductive health issues, STDS and HIV/AIDS, and providing opportunities for adult education. While many of AFEME’s projects are geared towards local needs, the organization is active nationally, having taken part in the World March of Women and in numerous actions and discussions relating to women’s rights. It is a founding member of the Siggil Jiggeen network of Senegalese women’s organizations. CCI and AFEME have been partners since 2003. In 2007, AFEME partnered with the Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal as part of a Crossroads International partnership project.
ALTERCOM has been running its FM radio station “Voix des femmes” (The Voice of Women) since 2002, using its broadcasts to promote the rights of women, to enhance the participation of women and the general public in development issues and to raise awareness of ideas relating to social justice, equality and equity. ALTERCOM was founded by a group of women with a wide array of expertise - communications specialists, educators, sociologists, development works and women’s rights activists - committed to employing a holistic approach to supporting the struggle for women’s rights. ALTERCOM has been working in a partnership project with Crossroads International since 2008 which also involves Promotion des Estriennes pour initier une nouvelle équité sociale (Pépines), a social equity organization in Quebec's Eastern Townships.
Association pour la promotion de la femme sénégalaise (APROFES)
APROFES works to support the socio-economic and cultural development of Senegalese women and to increase the role of women in decision-making. The organization was founded in 1987 by members of a cultural association called “Mag Daan”, who believed that development efforts were failing because they did not take into account the needs of women. APROFES’ projects are focused on raising awareness of women’s rights, increasing the social, political and economic role played by women, enabling better access by women to health services, increasing women’s economic independence and reducing violence against women. APROFES is also an important player in the Senegalese women’s movement through its coalition work at the national level. Crossroads and APROFES have been partners since 2007. APROFES has recently begun working in a Crossroads International partnership project which also involves the women’s shelter, l’Escale de l’Estrie, based in Sherbrooke.
Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA)
Founded in 1990, SWAGAA is a leader in the fight against gender-based violence in Swaziland. SWAGAA has worked for over a decade to bring the abuse of women and children into the public eye and to the attention of decision-makers, through advocacy, education, and media work. In addition, SWAGAA provides counselling and other services to victims of abuse and has recently increased its involvement in programs designed to prevent abuse, including an innovative project for engaging men. SWAGAA has taken part in regional efforts to stem gender-based violence and hosted an international conference on preventing abuse in 2005. SWAGAA has been working in partnership with Crossroads International since 2003.
Family and Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS)
The FLAS vision is a country that ensures its young people enjoy good health as a fundamental right, live free from HIV and AIDS, and have the confidence and capacities to make a meaningful contribution to the sustainable livelihoods of self and others. To meet this vision, the mission of FLAS is to remain the leading organization in the field of youth sexual and reproductive health services including HIV and AIDS in Swaziland through the delivery of innovative, youth-focused services; the sharing of best practices and knowledge; through advocacy and partnerships; and sustainable, gender-sensitive service delivery models that result in the prevention and reduction of unwanted pregnancies, maternal morality, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS, unsafe abortions and gender-based violence.
Women and Law in Southerm Africa (WLSA) - Swaziland
Women and Law in Southern Africa is an action-oriented research organization founded in 1998. The development objective of WLSA is to improve the legal status of women in Southern Africa. This is done through developing the research skills of women's law researchers in the network countries, conducting research on gender issues in Southern Africa, particularly those related to legal rights; and providing information on gender and the law and influencing policy and law reform. WLSA has offices in seven countries of Southern Africa: Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Groupe de réflexion et d’action, Femme, Démocratie et Développement / Centre de Recherche, d’Information et de Formation pour la Femme (GF2D/CRIFF)
GF2D-CRIFF was founded in 1992 to increase women’s participation in public life and to ensure the civil, economic and political rights of women are legally protected. GF2D establishes the organization’s policies, while CRIFF implements their programming. GF2D-CRIFF runs seven legal aid offices, a reference center on women’s rights and offers specialized training on gender issues. Its work focuses on three sectors: legal services for women (including the training of over 600 paralegals working across the country), public education on the rights of women and the promotion of women’s leadership and participation in civil service, politics and public life. GF2D-CRIFF is a well-respected member of Togolese civil society and has been working for over fifteen years in the face of an unstable political situation and a total lack of foreign aid – a testament to the organization’s determination. Since 2004, GF2D-CRIFF has been one of only two NGO’s invited to take part in the national dialogue aimed at resolving Togo’s political crisis, which has persisted since the 1990’s. GF2D-CRIFF has been a partner of Crossroads International since 2007.
Aides Médicales et Charité (AMC)
Aide Médicale et Charité is a Togolese non-governmental organization created in 1996 in response to a lack of government effort to support and care for people who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Over the last ten years, AMC’s contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS has included medical, psycho-social and economic support services through its three Centres d’Information et de Soins de Santé Ambulatoires (CISSA) [Mobile Information and Healthcare Centres] and more recently through the creation of two community homes where people living with HIV/AIDS, including orphans and vulnerable children, can find temporary shelter, educational and recreational activities, as well as psychological and nutritional support. Remarkably, AMC carried out its activities during its first five years without any outside grants. AMC has been a Crossroads partner since 2007.
La Colombe was created in 1990, in Lomé, by women of various professions all motivated to fight against poverty and defend women and children’s health in Togo. The organization's mission is to provide quality services that meet the true needs of women and children through integrated and holistic actions. They are fighting for a just, equitable and democratic society where women and children can live to their full potential. La Colombe is recognized as a reputable organization, capable of fulfilling its mission, influencing policy development, developing concrete actions in favor of women and children and encouraging women and girls to acquire a higher education. Since 2012, La Colombe works in partnership with Carrefour International to strengthen gender equality, promote women entrepreneurship and the rights of children.
The Women and AIDS Support Network (WASN)
The Women and AIDS Support Network (WASN) is a national activist women’s group that works to promote the rights of women and provide women with the information they need to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. WASN is recognized in Zimbabwe as the leading gender organization working with rural women living with HIV and AIDS, offering care and helping women find the means to support themselves and their families. WASN offers training to organizations throughout Zimbabwe on empowering women living with HIV or AIDS and on defeating stigma and discrimination. WASN is also active in advocating for access to treatment in rural areas and training peer educators who raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in their communities. WASN became a Crossroads International partner organization in 2007.
The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)
The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe is a diverse group of thirty-two women's rights organizations, representing a cross section of political parties and professional gender activists working to address the aspirations and needs of women. The mission is to ensure the full participation of Zimbabwean women in the ongoing constitutional reform process, and to strengthen the role of gender activists raising their voices in critical issues affecting women. The Coalition's objectives are to develop a high level of competence in the analysis of laws relating to gender issues, such as gender-based violence, and to mount an effective campaign to integrate women into the political/social processes in Zimbabwe. Most recently the Coalition coordinated the work of formulating and getting the Domestic Violence Act through Parliament. Crossroads International is working with the coalition on implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. Crossroads has been working in partnership with the Coalition since 2007.
Community Economic Development
The AGRECOL Andes foundation
The AGRECOL Andes foundation provides services in agro-ecological knowledge management. It works on improving the living conditions of rural Andean populations through training, the systemization of experiences, the promotion of participative methodologies, the dissemination of information, and orientation and coaching in managing process change. Established in 2001, AGRECOL Andes defines its mission as “promoting the development of sustainable agriculture through knowledge management, advocacy and the strengthening of local initiatives, in partnership with rural and urban stakeholders.” Its main purpose is to enable families in rural and indigenous communities to reach ecological, social and economic sustainability, as well as food security and sovereignty. In addition to its national platform, AGRECOL Andes also works with 45 organizations, based in seven departments and 6 regional directorates throughout the country.
Asociación Nacional Ecuménica de Desarrollo (ANED)
The Asociación Nacional Ecuménica de Desarrollo (ANED) is a microfinance institution providing financial services (mainly micro-credit loans) to rural and economically marginalized populations in Bolivia. ANED prioritizes rural and peri-urban localities because of their relative lack of access to such services. In keeping with the organization’s rural-oriented mandate, the loan portfolio is dominated by agricultural/farming-related loans. Often, smallholder agricultural producers are unable to procure the necessary financing from banks and other institutions due to a lack of credit history, lack of collateral, or simply because of the “risky” nature of agricultural sector activities. ANED offers a range of financing options, from individual loans, to group and association loans, to communal bank loans. As such, ANED aims to better conditions of access to financing and other auxiliary financial services for producers and rural entrepreneurs, according to their needs and requirements, leading to better quality of life, improved productivity and increased household incomes. Since its inception in 1978, ANED has provided US$70,000,000 in capital and loans through its 42 offices located across all nine departments of Bolivia. ANED has been working in partnership with Crossroads International since 1999, to strengthen institutional capacity as well as deepen its impact and broaden the reach of its microfinance services in support of economic and social development.
Asociación de Organizaciones de Productores Ecológicos de Bolivia (AOPEB)
Since 1991, the Asociación de Organizaciones de Productores Ecológicos de Bolivia (AOPEB) supports the development of an environmentally friendly agricultural model that is based on sustainable biodiversity. As such, AOPEB promotes farming that is respectful of the wisdom passed on and preserved by Andean-Amazonian cultures, where organized farmers, producers and native populations act as the main stakeholders. AOPEB currently brings together 60,000 ecological farmers in nine national departments, themselves comprised of 90 municipalities. In order to respond to the growing demand of Bolivia’s ecological sector, AOPEB recently launched a restructuring process that aims to decentralize its services. This will be achieved by establishing regional offices in various departments throughout the country, so as to provide better technical and organizational support to the country’s small producers.
FONCRESOL supports and promotes rural and community economic development in Bolivia’s Andean highlands and valleys, by improving access to financial resources and services for marginalized sectors of the population who traditionally face obstacles in accessing formal banking institutions’ services. Integrating both economic and social development objectives, FONCRESOL primarily offers micro-credit services which are complemented by technical assistance and training on topics such as micro-enterprise development, local governance and community empowerment. Credit services include access to capital for individuals, communal banks, solidarity groups, and producer cooperatives and/or associations. FONCRESOL currently has a national office and four branch offices, and reaches some 6,000 clients annually. It is a founding member of RIPESS LAC, part of the international network for the promotion of the social solidarity economy. FONCRESOL has been working with Crossroads International since 1996, to address poverty alleviation. Focus of our work together has principally been supporting women’s communal banks and Fair Trade producers, as well as building FONCRESOL’s institutional capacities. Since 2009, Crossroads and FONCRESOL have worked as a tripartite partnership with Haida Gwaii Community Futures (HGCF) based in British Columbia.
Pro-rural is a Bolivian NGO working in value chain finance (small and medium enterprise or SME financing) and rural development. Pro-rural promotes the improved quality of life of rural producers, by facilitating sustainable economic development processes that favour their inclusion and the development of connections between stakeholders along the value chain (i.e. suppliers, processors, buyers). The overall objective of the organization is to support small rural producers and their organizations/enterprises with an appropriate combination of financial and non-financial services in order to have influence on capital accumulation and the development of productive and management competencies in rural areas. Pro-rural has been working with Crossroads since 2007. The partnership is strengthening Pro-rural’s capacity to assist rural enterprises and campesina (peasant) economic organizations (OECAs). In 2010, Crossroads and Pro-Rural launched a tripartite partnership with the First Nations Agricultural Association (FNAA) based in British Columbia.
Association Jeunesse Action (AJA) Mali
Association Jeunesse Action (AJA) Mali an NGO founded in 1993, supports job creation through education, skills development, and professional placements for youth. One of Bamako’s most respected NGO’s, AJA supports youth through a number of targeted programs: classroom-based curricula for ages 6 to 14, classroom-based curricula for ages 9 to 16, skills training placements for youth aged 15 to 18 and professional placements and small business creation programs for youth aged 18 to 35. Its programs have led to the creation of numerous enterprises producing items such as toys or furniture. Since 2007, AJA has been part of a partnership project with Crossroads International, which also involves the SADC Centre-de-la-Mauricie aimed at providing Malian youth with job skills and training in entrepreneurship.
Association malienne pour la promotion des jeunes (AMPJ)
Founded in 1989, the AMPJ is a Malian NGO dedicated to increasing the income of women through the promotion of income-generating activities, and offers training, equipment and microcredit. It also works to promote grassroots community organization and to improve the quality of education. AMPJ has actively supported the development of the COPROKAZAN shea butter collective involving women from the Zantiébougou region of Mali. AMPJ has worked with Crossroads International since 2000 and has began work with the ECOF – CDEC of Trois-Rivières on a Crossroads partnership project in 2006.
Created in 1984, Kilabo is one of the first NGOs established in Mali. It works to increase the development of the most vulnerable communities in Mali using a participatory approach, supporting community organizations by providing training, tools and other relevant means. Kilabo contributes to the emergence of grassroots groups capable of effectively participating in local development initiatives and works to create the conditions that enable the participation of disadvantaged groups in economic and political activities. Kilabo also aims to instill a respect for the environment. Kilabo works with more than a hundred villages in the regions of Koulikoro and Sikasso. Kilabo has worked in partnership with Crossroads since 1994. In 2008, the Centre mauricien de service et d'éducation populaire (COMSEP) in Québec joined Crossroads and Kilabo in a tripartite partenership.
Action pour le Développement Durable (ADD)
Founded in 1998, ADD is an NGO based in Niger that works in a number of areas such as education, food security, skills training, gender and development, health and micro-finance. Its main areas of focus, however, are education and food security. ADD is a national organization and is active in six of Niger’s departments as well as three districts in the capital, Niamey. It has worked with Crossroads Internationalin a partnership project since 2007, which also involves the Corporation de relance économique et communautaire (CREC) de St-Léonard.
Organisation nigérienne pour la promotion de l’hydraulique et du développement à la base (ONPHDB)
ONPHDB combats poverty throughout Niger by working with communities to establish local development initiatives to improve their living conditions. ONPHDB focuses on areas such as ensuring a stable water supply, environmental protection, food security, job training, health, and income-generating activities. ONPHDB is also involved in several national development networks. ONPHDB has worked with Crossroads International since 2001 and is embarking on a Crossroads-supported partnership with Corporation de développement économique et communautaire du Centre-nord, based in Montreal.
YWCA of Canada
The YWCA has a tradition and commitment to process-oriented social change. This has been expressed in various ways; its roots are firmly embedded in their history and purpose as an organization. Responding to women's needs means ensuring that the right policies and infrastructures are in place to safeguard women's well-being and help them achieve safety and economic security. YWCA Canada's mission is to be a voice for women in Canada, one that brings about policy and legislative changes that reflect women's needs. Focused on women's realities, briefs and position papers are developed and submitted to government and policy makers. The YWCA is involved in several coalitions through their Policy Engagement and Advocacy program. The YWCA has been working with Crossroads International and Abantu for Development, based in Ghana, as part of a partnership project.
Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC)
METRAC is a not-for-profit, community-based organization that works to ensure women, youth, and children live free from all forms of violence and the threat of violence. METRAC's programs seek to prevent and end all individual, institutional and systemic forms of violence. The organization works collaboratively with a broad range of partners to develop strategies to end violence against women and build safer communities for everyone. Among its various experiences is the development of the Ontario Women's Justice Network (OWJN) - a website for equality-seeking organizations and individuals working on issues of justice for women who have experienced violence; most recently, OWJN has been involved in coordinating a response to the Joint House of Commons/Senate Report on Child Custody and Access, ensuring that the government is made aware of the special needs and interests of women who are leaving abusive relationships. METRAC has been working in partnership with Crossroads International and WiLDAF, based in Ghana, since 2007.
La Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal
The Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal is a coalition of women’s organizations founded in 1996 working to promote and defend the rights of women from a feminist perspective. It is involved in a variety of social, political, economic and cultural issues affecting the lives of Montreal’s women. The Table is made up of sixty member organizations, the majority of who are local women’s groups, women’s rights committees founded by unions and community organizations. The Table has been working with Crossroads International and the Association des femmes de la Médina, based in Senegal, as part of a partnership project since 2007.
L’Escale de l’Estrie
L’Escale de l’Estrie is a women’s shelter providing a safe and private space for victims of domestic violence and their children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. L’Escale is heavily involved in increasing awareness of women’s rights and the effect of domestic violence on women and their children. L’Escale has been working in partnership with Crossroads International and APROFES, based in Senegal, since 2007.
La Fédération des ressources d’hébergement pour femmes violentées et en difficulté au Québec (FRHFVDQ)
La Fédération des ressources d’hébergement pour femmes violentées et en difficulté au Québec defends the interests of women’s shelters across the province of Quebec, supporting the development of partnerships and collaborations. Through its work, the Fédératoin defends the rights of abused women and supports them in the face of several issues connected to domestic violence, such as drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness, among others. The Fédération also addresses issues faced by First Nations as well as immigrant women. The Fédération has been working with Crossroads International and the Réseau Siggil Jigeen, based in Senegal, from 2007 until 2011.
PEPINES (Promotion des Estriennes pour initier une nouvelle équité sociale), a social equity organization, was established in 1992 by a group of women in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The women who make up Pépines come from many different areas of activity and represent all MRCs in the region. What brought them together was the desire to have more women participate in decisions being made on behalf of and about the community. Addressing the democratic deficit is always a challenge, especially since women still, on average, represent only 25% of the people in decision-making bodies in the Eastern Townships. Pépines is working to help women get involved in decision-making, to promote women’s participation in the region’s socio-economic development and to highlight women’s achievements. Pépines has been working in partnership with Crossroads Internationaland the Senegalese agency ALTERCOM since 2008 to support women’s social and political involvement in Canada and Senegal.
Community Economic Development
La Corporation de développement économique communautaire (CDEC) Rosemont–Petite-Patrie
Founded in 1990, la Corporation de développement économique communautaire (CDEC) Rosemont–Petite-Patrie is a non-profit organization that brings together local players in the area of Rosemont-Petite-Patrie in Montreal to support economic development tailored to the needs of the local population. The CDEC works with residents, community organizations, unions, public institutions, businesspeople and municipal representatives. By employing an approach that fuses economic and social development, the CDEC implements projects that not only create local economic opportunities but that also fit with the character and colour of the area. The CDEC has been working on a partnership project with Crossroads International and the Association des groupements villageois féminins, based in Mali, since 2007.
ECOF-CDEC de Trois-Rivières
The Corporation de Développement Économique Communautaire (CDEC) has been working in Quebec’s Mauricie region since 1996, mainly in and around the city of Trois-Rivières. The CDEC works to fight poverty and isolation, and aims to improve the living conditions in the community by supporting local social and economic development initiatives. The CDEC supports the growth of social enterprises geared towards the needs of the community. The CDEC has been working in partnership with Crossroads Internationaland the Association malienne pour les jeunes (AMPJ) since 2007.
Corporation de développement économique et communautaire (CDEC) du Centre-nord (Montréal)
The CDEC Centre-Nord’s mission is to develop and strengthen economic activities and employment in the areas of Villeray, Saint-Michel and Parc-Extension, to support the local population’s socio-economic development and to fight against social exclusion.
This mission is consistent with the community economic development approach, which is defined as local action to create economic opportunities and improve communities’ social conditions in a sustainable and inclusive manner. Special attention is paid to the most disadvantaged persons.
CDEC is also a key player in promoting concerted action to develop structuring projects in its area and enhance residents’ employability. CDEC offers its services and expertise to private and community-based businesses, whether they are starting up, consolidating their activities or expanding.
Le Centre d’organisation mauricien de services et d’éducation populaire (COMSEP)
The Centre d’organisation mauricien de services et d’éducation populaire (COMSEP) is a non-profit organization founded to help people living in poverty in the Mauricie region and improve their living conditions. Based in Trois-Rivières, the COMSEP brings together people in need, helping them identify their problems so that they may find solutions and take steps to improve their lives. COMSEP is also a literacy and public education hub as well as a community services centre. What’s more, the organization works in tandem with Crossroads International and the Malian organization Kilabo, helping men and women living in rural Mali become better equipped to participate in their community’s social, political, economical and cultural life.