More than $45,000 raised in honour of International Day of the Girl!

DOG breakfast Lawrence and Cebile

Award-winning author and Crossroads honorary patron Lawrence Hill was the inspirational keynote speaker at Crossroads’ International Day of the Girl breakfast in Toronto on October 9. Our biggest event to date was generously sponsored by Genus Capital Management, Jolera, Prentice Yates & Clark Chartered Accountants and Whirl Inc. Along with the unique cross-country events the week following International Day of the Girl on October 11, together we raised more than $45,000 for Crossroads programs supporting the equality, empowerment, and rights of girls and women.

The International Day of the Girl Breakfast, organized by Crossroads advisory council members Kelly Rockliff, Valerie Hussey, Anne Marie Clune, Kathleen Peace, Shanan Spencer-Brown, Susan Watts and Judy Byle-Jones, drew over 100 guests. Friends both old and new were in attendance, including several former volunteers whose experience overseas with the organization has inspired their continued support and involvement over the years. Co-organizer Valerie Hussey echoed this sentiment in her opening remarks, “In a world where the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, and where women’s rights are being rolled back, the Crossroads promise is simple to embrace. Work with others as equals to overcome poverty and realize women’s rights.”

As the guest speaker, 2013 CBC Massey Lecturer and three-time Crossroads volunteer Lawrence Hill spoke about how his involvement with Crossroads has not only shaped his career, but has also inspired his decision to become an advocate for the rights of women and girls. “I don’t think I would have written any of the books I’ve since written if I hadn’t gone out with Crossroads in Africa. It’s shaped me as a writer and as a human being,” said Hill. It was during one of Hill’s volunteer placements in Mali that he met a mid-wife named Aminata, who left such an impression on him that years later he adopted her name for his protagonist in his acclaimed novel The Book of Negroes.

DOG breakfast 2013

Libby Wildman, a guest at the event, said she could relate to Hill's message. “I’ve visited several rural schools in Africa and witnessed first-hand the severe hardships that so many girls experience. When I heard Lawrence speak about his volunteer work with Crossroads International and the way it’s inspired him to become an advocate for girls and women, it struck a chord with me. Girls’ Clubs offer such a specific and effective way to support girls in Swaziland, and I decided that this is a way I want to help.” Wildman and a friend will have the opportunity to share a meal with Lawrence Hill in the coming months. Crossroads International extends a huge thank you to everyone in attendance at the breakfast. Their generosity raised more than $30,000 that will contribute to lasting change by benefitting Crossroads programming supporting women and girls.




Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: