Crossroaders back from the field


Abdoulaye Badiane (Senegal)
Abdoulaye Badiane

A socio-economist by training, I have a master’s degree in international studies with a concentration in international development from Université Laval.

Céline Moiny (Senegal)
Céline Moiny

A teacher of persons with a physical disability by training and the holder of a degree in international cooperation from the Université de Montréal, I have done several mandates in the domains of education and healthcare in Senegal and Burkina Faso over the course of the last six years.

Daniel Godon (Senegal)
Daniel Godon

Hello, my name is Daniel Godon. I hold a degree in geography with a focus on health and the environment. Recently, I commenced studies at the master’s level in community health with a concentration on world health.




Diana Garcia (Bolivia)
Diana Garcia

My name is Diana Garcia and I am going to Bolivia to work with the AGRECOL Andes foundation ( as a project management officer for one year. AGRECOL Andes foundation is a local organization that contributes to the improvement of the living conditions in rural Andean communities by providing services for managing agro-ecological knowledge. 

Hervé Labité (Togo 2015)
Hervé Labité

My name is Hervé and I’m very interested in sustainable development. I have more than ten years of experience in this area (organic farming and environmental engineering in particular) in countries both North and South. I’ll be volunteering with Crossroads partner La Colombe in Togo. My focus will be on an agro-ecological project that will strengthen plant and animal production among young female and male farmers in the Vogan, Vo Koutimé and Plateaux regions.



Ricardo Vargas (Bolivia)
Ricardo Vargas

Hello, my name is Ricardo Vargas.; born in Peru, I am the proud father of two pretty young ladies. Arrived to La Paz, Bolivia, at the end of May 2015 as a Crossroads volunteer, I was given a one year mandate to create a fundraising unit at the Asociación de Organizaciones de Productores Ecológicos de Bolivia (AOPEB), an organization grouping ecological farmers.

Iba Sy (Senegal)
Iba Sy

With more than 12 years of experience in accounting and financial management in international NGOs and agencies, I’ve always had an interest in issues that affect development and the emergence of organizations in countries with developing economies. My volunteer mandate with Crossroads at Union Nationale des femmes coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS) is an opportunity for me to make a modest contribution as an advisor in accounting and computer skills.

Cheikh Thioye (Senegal)
Cheikh Thioye

My name is Cheikh Thioye, I specialize in business management and administration, and local development. I will soon be leaving for Senegal to complete a mandate as an entrepreneurship and marketing advisor for the regional unions of Kaolack and Fatick and the Union Nationale des Femmes Coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS), a network of women’s cooperatives engaged in processing and adding value to local products (soap, dyes, grains, juice, and jams).

Senoune Thiam (Senegal)
Senoune Thiam

I’m a specialist in territorial planning and local development with 15 years of experience both in Canada and Senegal. I have a particular interest in topics touching on environmental and local development. I’m also interested in participative approaches in the fight against poverty.

Priscilla Galan (Bolivia)
Priscilla Galan

My name is Priscilla and soon I’ll be leaving for La Paz, Bolivia to volunteer as part of an international cooperation mandate as Youth Inclusion Advisor with Crossroads International’s partner AOPEB (Asociación de Organizaciones de Productores Ecológicos de Bolivia).  

Lesly Paola Arias Rodriguez (Bolivia)
Lesly Paola Arias Rodriguez

My name is Lesly, and I’m a Columbian who has been living in Montreal for a little more than one year. I’m a human resources professional, specialized in recruitment, with more than seven years of experience. It is because of my profession that I discovered Crossroads International and Pro-Rural. 

Nancy Roc (Ghana)
Nancy Roc

My name is Nancy Roc and I am Haitian Canadian. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Communications and a graduate diploma in Environmental Studies. 

Ameth Fall (Senegal)
Ameth Fall

My name is Ameth FALL, and soon I’ll be working with the Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et Pastorales du Sénégal (RESOPP) as a management and accounting advisor. My mandate is to do capacity building with the technical staff to allow them to more effectively use their CIEL software, and to train staff members in financial and cash management.

Nestor Komlan Ametoenyenou (Togo)
Nestor Komlan Ametoenyenou

I was extremely pleased to have been selected by Crossroads International to work as a school entrepreneurship advisor in Togo, for La Coulombe. For my mandate, I will be providing support for the implementation of a program to promote and develop entrepreneurship in Togolese schools. 





Ibrahima Diallo (Mali)
Ibrahima Diallo

I’m leaving for Mali to do a mandate as a co-operative management advisor. With support from ADAF/Gallè and members of a financial and administrative management NGO, I’ve been mandated to help local co-ops implement marketing plans, and do capacity building with their members.


Seynabou Diallo (Senegal)
Seynabou Diallo

I’ve been mandated to do capacity building in management and marketing with the women from the UNFCS. As a native of Senegal, not only will this mandate allow me to use my skills for a good cause, but also to learn more about the situation in Senegal, and the realities of the informal sector there.


Christina Moschaki (Bolivia)
Christina Moschaki

I will work as a Baseline Study Advisor with multiple Crossroads partners: Asociación Nacional Ecuménica de Desarrollo (ANED), Asociación de Organizaciones de Productores Ecológicos de Bolivia (AOPEB), AGRECOL Andes Foundation and Pro-Rural. I will develop the baseline and key indicators necessary to ensure a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program between Crossroads International and its Bolivian partners.


Boubacar Dabo (Senegal)
Boubacar Dabo

A native of Senegal, I’m going back to my home country for a mandate as a finance advisor with the Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et Pastorales du Sénégal (RESOPP) in Thiès. My mandate is to help the organization find funding, and to identify growth opportunities in local and external markets.


Caza Saleck (Bolivia)
Caza Saleck

I’m a French-speaking Mauritanian who’s been living in Canada for seven years. I’m a true product of globalization: I’ve lived in different countries, travelled more or less all over, and I can’t wait to get started on this most interesting of mandates with Crossroads International in La Paz, Bolivia.

Val Embree (Swaziland)
Val Embree

I’m at a new stage of life, and ready to follow my long time interest in international development, particularly in Africa. The Crossroads opportunity to work with Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) in a strategic planning role seemed a perfect fit for me!

Josiane Pelosse (Mali)
Josiane Pelosse

With a background in anthropology and a career in journalism, it was with great anticipation that I left my home in Winnipeg to travel to Bamako, Mali, where I will work as a communications advisor for the Fédération nationale des artisans du Mali (FNAM).

Aida Bamba (Ghana)
Aida Bamba

My name is Aida Bamba, I have a Master’s degree in Public Administration, with a specialization in International Management. I got involved with Crossroads International to fight the injustices faced by women in the region of Tefle, in the east part of Ghana. /p>

Virginie Gobeil (Mali)
Virginie Gobeil

I have the opportunity to do in Africa what I do best in Quebec (aside from making beautiful children): strategic planning and entrepreneurial development. I am grabbing hold of the opportunity and leaving for Bamako in Mali to finalize a strategic plan for ACEE du Mali (Association des Étudiants Entrepreneurs). I have also been charged with implementing an action plan, and helping them with their lobbying efforts.

Natalie Martin (Ghana)

Hello, my name is Natalie and I have a background in research and public health, with particular interest in environmental health and gender. I will be working in Ghana with four of Crossroads’ partners to develop a baseline study to measure the progress of these partnerships.

Espoir Mensah (Senegal)

My name is Espoir Mensah. I am a manager by trade, and I have joined Crossroads International to fight poverty and discrimination against women. Between September and February, I will complete a mandate as a marketing advisor for the Union Nationale des Femmes Coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS).

Dominic Bertrand (Senegal)

Hi, my name is Dominic Bertrand. Having been recruited as a volunteer for Crossroads International, I now have the opportunity to travel to Senegal where I will work with the Union Nationale des Femmes Coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS).

Danièle Heinen (Togo)

Hello, my name is Danièle Heinen. After graduating in business management in France, I worked in international development in Africa for about 10 years, in both the public and private sectors, in English and in French. A short term Volunteer assignment in Togo is now in the cards for the fall of 2014.

Vladimir Lopez (Bolivia)
Vladimir Lopez

My name is Vladimir Lopez and I will soon be finding myself in La Paz, Bolivia. Why and how, you ask? I’m going to complete a volunteer mandate in international cooperation with Crossroads International. It will certainly be challenging, but I think it is very important to have wonderful experiences like these. I will be working as an advisor on climate change with Crossroads Partner Pro-Rural, an organization which develops and maintains agricultural projects and financing for local entrepreneurs.

Marie-Anne Miron (Bolivia)
Marie-Anne Miron

It is with great pleasure that I come to arrive in La Paz, Bolivia, to complete a mandate as an advisor in alternative training with L’Asociation Nacional Ecuménica de Desarrollo (ANED). Over the course of the next six months I will have the chance to support the implementation of an educational program to improve the training provided to members of community banks established by ANED.

Karine Gauthier (Togo)

Karine Gauthier holds a B.A. in Political Communication and Society and is an M.A Candidate in Political Science specializing in International Relations, and International Politics, Cooperation and Development at the Université du Québec à Montreal. Her thesis will focus on the globalization of the trafficking of African women. She will soon be travelling to Togo to take up the positon of Advisor for Women’s Equality.

Fatim Diop (Senegal)
Fatim Diop

My name is Fatim Diop, and I am originally from Senegal. I will be returning there to complete a mandate of several months with Crossroads International as a marketing and entrepreneurship advisor with the Union Nationale des Femmes Coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS).

Abdou Gueye (Senegal 2014)

Abdou GueyeMy name is Abdou Gueye and I am from Toronto. I am originally from Senegal, and I’m now returning there to complete a mandate as fundraising advisor for the Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Sénégalaise (APROFES). My responsibilities will include helping APROFES in their resource development, and to help raise funds in order to strengthen their current programming.

Cheikh Tidiane Sibidé (Senegal)

Cheikh Tidiane SibidéMy name is Cheikh Tidiane Sibidé and I am Senegalese Canadian. I hold a Masters in Public Management and Local and International Development, and have had diverse professional experiences in the area of socio-economic development. This summer, Crossroads International is offering me the chance to complete an international mandate in Senegal, with L’Union Nationale des Femmes Coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS).

Jana Miller (Swaziland)

My name is Jana Miller and I’m from Vancouver, B.C. I’ve been working in fund development with non- profit groups for the past ten years. I’ll be undertaking a mandate as resource mobilization officer for Gone Rural boMake in Swaziland. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with this unique non-profit group that empowers women by creating sustainable incomes.

Grace Kim (Ghana)

Grace KimI am an international development consultant and I’ve spent the past five years working for private companies, international organizations and NGOs in an attempt to eradicate extreme poverty. Starting off in Vancouver, I managed a number of socio-economic projects in various countries while completing my degree in political science and commerce.

Hillary Birch (Swaziland)

Hillary BirchI’m a recent graduate of McGill University with an M.A. in Political Science and a concentration in international development. I focussed my studies on health politics and health rights in southern Africa. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work in Manzini with the Family Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS). I will be a grant writer, helping the organization source funding from international donors to support their efforts to bolster sexual and reproductive health rights. 

Tharcisse Baleja Kabeya (Senegal)

Tharcisse Baleja KabeyaMy name is Tharcisse Baleja Kabeya and I’m from the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a trained Canadian lawyer, I had my first international volunteer work experience as an advocacy advisor in Togo. Once again, I am leaving with Crossroads — this time in Senegal — to work as an advisor with the Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Sénégalaise (APROFES). 

Lucie Mailloux (Senegal)

Lucie MaillouxMy name is Lucie Mailloux and I’m originally from Abitibi, Quebec and now living in Ontario. From 2011 to 2013, I had the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge during a volunteering mandate in Togo with Crossroads International. Now, I’ll have the chance, once again, to go abroad and help as a human resources management advisor with the Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Sénégalaise (APROFES) in Senegal. 

Heather Bruce (Swaziland)
Heather Bruce

My name is Heather Bruce and I’m excited to be the liaison officer for Crossroads in Swaziland for the next nine months. I’ve just graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in international development and anthropology. During my time at university I spent eight months in Ghana working on programming for children's rights.  



Genna Evelyn (Ghana 2013)

Genna is a civil litigation lawyer from London, Ontario currently completing a Legal Research mandate with Crossroads' Partner, Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF), in Ghana. Genna's mandate is to produce an analysis on the issue of the property rights of women in Ghana as it relates to economic violence against women.

Ana Balanean (Swaziland 2013)
Ana Balanean height=

My name is Ana Balanean. I have studied and worked for various organizations in Europe, North America, Asia, and now Africa. I have a MA in Gender Studies from Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and a MSc in Political Science from VU University, Amsterdam.  Currently, I work as a Research and Evaluation Officer for the Family Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS).

Héloïse Courribet-Chouinard (Senegal 2013) Heloïse Courribet-Chouinard

Hello, my name is Héloïse Courribet-Chouinard. I’m originally from Quebec, but my adoptive home is Dakar. For the past few years, I’ve gone back and forth between Canada and Senegal, between teaching and international cooperation. I’m currently carrying out a mandate as an Organizational Diagnostics and Strategic Planning Advisor with La Case des Jeunes Femmes (CJF) in Dakar. It’s an organization that works with the community to train young women in trades traditionally reserved for men. The mandate inspires me, because it represents the combination of my two passions.


Sarah Landry (Senegal 2013)Sarah LandryMy name is Sarah Landry and I’m an organizational diagnostics and strategic planning advisor at the Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Sénégalaise (APROFES). For my Crossroads International mandate, I’ll be in this role from mid-June to mid-December 2013, working with the entire APROFES team to evaluate the organization’s strengths and weaknesses so it can plan for the future. This will allow the organization to further increase the impact of their work on the women of Senegal and their communities.

Katherine Jarno (Togo 2013)
Katherine Jarno
Hello, my name is Katherine and I'm from Montreal. In recent years I’ve moved back and forth between living in Toronto and Montreal and between the arts and urban development, with the goal of creating cities that are user-friendly, environmentally sustainable, and accessible to all. Working with Crossroads International is therefore an important and positive step in my professional and personal journey.

Ginette Imboua (Togo 2013)
Ginette Imboua
My name is Ginette Imboua and I will be spending the next 6 months in Lomé, Togo. My mandate is to perform an organizational assessment of La Colombe, one of Crossroads’ partners in Togo. This assessment will serve both as a programming and as a monitoring, evaluation and learning tool to look at the organization’s evolution throughout the partnership.

Toumaï Kafri (Bolivia 2013)
Toumai Kafri
My name is Toumaї Kafri and I am thrilled to be heading off to La Paz, Bolivia for a mandate with the Asociación de Organizaciones de Productores Ecológicos de Bolivia (AOPEB). AOPEB, Carrefour’s newest partner in Bolivia, supports the development of an environmentally friendly agricultural model, bringing together 60,000 ecological farmers in nine national departments, themselves comprised of 90 municipalities.

Serge Fournier (Bolivia 2013)Serge Fournier
Hi, my name is Serge Fournier. For the next six months, I will be living in Bolivia as a Crossroads volunteer. My mandate is to collaborate on training the trainers at ANED, a micro-finance organization. I will be based in La Paz, but will also travel to the regional offices to support the trainers there.

Josiane Marquis (Bolivia 2013)Josiane Marquis
My name is Josiane and I come from a small town in Gaspésie. I’m currently finishing my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Development and Human Rights at Université Laval in Québec. I will be spending six months in Bolivia, contributing to an ongoing project that was launched a few years ago to support the partners of a micro-finance organization in La Paz called FONCRESOL and their client COAINE, a local coffee production cooperative in the Caranavi region.  As Fair Trade and Marketing Officer, my role will be to facilitate business dealings between small producers of Bolivian coffee and Canadian roasters, thereby helping Bolivians to access the international coffee export market.

Sergio Figueredo (Bolivia 2013)Sergio Figueredo
I'm thrilled to say that for the next six months, I’ll be participating in a microfinance research project in Bolivia. The objective of the project is to improve financial tools that will help low-income women create business opportunities, and hopefully escape from extreme poverty. In June, I will begin my mandate with the Asociación Nacional Ecuménica de Desarrollo (ANED), a Crossroads partner and one of the oldest and largest microfinance institutions in Bolivia. I will be conducting research, visiting marginalized villages, and learning from ANED's executive body.

Léa Cullen-Robitaille (Senegal 2013)
My name is Léa. I am fresh out of university and on my way to fulfilling an international cooperation assignment, as a way to round up my academic background. I hold a bachelor’s degree in management from Laval University, where I majored in international development and humanitarian action. Over the next six months, I will work as an Organizational Evaluation Advisor for the Union nationale des femmes coopératrices du Sénégal (UNFCS). UNFCS and Crossroads have just become partners. Thanks to this assessment, Crossroads and UNFCS will then work together to set UNFCS’ priorities for development and capacity-building.

Charles Babecki (Bolivia 2013)Charles Babecki
My name is Charles Babecki. I was born and raised in Montréal and graduated from Syracuse University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Spanish. I will be volunteering my time and skills in Sucre, Bolivia with FONCRESOL, a micro finance institution, for 7 months. I will be implementing a financial product called “Crédito Futuro” which will provide university students with adequate housing accommodations and, at the same time, save money to start a business or to continue their professionalization. I am so excited to embark on this amazing adventure!

Laura Dowling

Laura Dowling (Swaziland 2013)
My name is Laura Dowling and over the next 9 months I will be a Liaison Officer for Crossroads International in Swaziland. While my mandate includes mentoring and managing the volunteers going to Swaziland, I will also be directly involved with the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA), more specifically with the work of the Girls’ Empowerment Clubs in schools.

Genevieve HillGenevieve Hill (Ghana 2013)
My name is Genevieve Hill and I was raised in Burlington, Ontario but nowadays I call both Montreal and Ghana home. I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Development from McGill University and am currently working as a Liaison officer for Crossroads International in Ghana. This is my third time working in Ghana, having previously worked in the area of women’s empowerment and education.

Chelsey SmithChelsey Smith (Swaziland 2013)
I am Chelsey Smith, and I am passionate about love, literacy, education, and equality. Motivated by truth, justice, and an insatiable desire for adventure and challenge – I traveled to Swaziland to volunteer as a Resource Mobilisation Officer with the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) for nine months.

Sandra NkusiSandra Nkusi (Bolivia 2013)
My name is Sandra Nkusi and I'm volunteering in Bolivia, working with Pro-Rural - a financial institution that offers support to rural producers- as part of their Social Performance team. I'm happy to be helping the institution develop new tools that will help measure the impacts of their projects in the community.

Laurent ThouinLaurent Thouin (Bolivia 2013)
My name is Laurent Thouin and I became a Crossroader in February 2013. I am in Bolivia, where I am now completing a mandate in human resources management. I work with Pro Rural, a local organization active in micro-finance and rural development which provides technical support together with seed capital and credit, in order to support local rural economies and generate employment.

Vania SzeVania Sze (Ghana 2013)
My name is Vania Sze and I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Having been immersed in the working world for the past three years and recently completed my professional designation, I realized that I needed to stay true to my passion in international development. I have a desire to bring these skills I have been fortunate to learn back to the international community through the development of sustainable business practices. In 2013 I will be venturing to Accra, Ghana to work with Pro-Link for 5 months helping to implement their accounting systems. 

Fernand Roy (Bolivia 2013)
My name is Fernand Roy and I’ve been a proud Crossroader for more than a year. I retired after 31 years of service in the banking industry and I am delighted to play the role of a grandfather to my grandkids (I still love this!). But after some time, I felt the need to do more. 


Renee LeVangie (Ghana 2012)

I’ve returned to Ghana for the second time and I’m thrilled to be spending a full year in a country I already fell in love with! This time around I’ll be experiencing more of the village lifestyle, training rural women receiving microloans in small business skills. With a commerce degree, international work experience and a passion for travelling, my mandate with Pro-Link is sure to advance my understanding of gender equity and entrepreneurship in the developing world.

Joni Ward (Bolivia 2012)

My name is Joni Ward. Originally from the UK, I have made Montreal my home for the past decade. After spending 4.5yrs managing a 10,000 Villages fair trade store, I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to experience another aspect of fair trade, working alongside producers in the South. With the role of Fair Trade & Marketing Specialist, I am currently on a 7 month mandate in Bolivia, supporting the initiative of exporting fair trade Bolivian coffee to the Canadian market.

Jean-François Martel-Castonguay (Bolivia 2012)

My name is Jean-François and I am a Crossroads International volunteer. I work with the ANED, a Bolivian microfinance institution. My mandate is to assess the social performance of a microcredit program, the Bancos Comunales. This program targets groups of women almost exclusively and aims to assist in their independence, in addition to the improvement of their quality of life. I took on this mission with the willingness to bring a resource that will remain after I leave. I know, however, that this mission is first and foremost a cultural and knowledge exchange with the Bolivian people: a two-way exchange!

Kelsey Parsons (Ghana 2012)
My name is Kelsey Parsons and I’m originally from Oakville, Ontario. In October 2012, I’ll be heading off to Accra, Ghana for a one year mandate with Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF). As a lifelong traveler, I have always been interested in the intricacies of other cultures. I recently graduated from Carleton University with a degree in journalism and anthropology, and I can’t wait to put my studies to use as a Communications Officer for WiLDAF. I’ve always known the dusty books I’ve read about cross-cultural communication are no match for real life interaction, and I know I will learn countless lessons in the year I will be in Ghana.

Maureen Littlejohn (Swaziland 2012)
Maureen Littlejohn is a freelance contributor to publications including Guide to Canada, More, Vacations, Adventura, Convene, Homemakers, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian magazine. Based in Toronto, Maureen has a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and recently graduated from the International Development program at Humber College. As of July 25, Maureen will be in Swaziland for a year. She will be a communications officer for Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse, an organization that works to eradicate gender-based violence.


Christine Herr (Swaziland 2011)

I’m thrilled to join the Crossroads team! My name is Christine Herr and I’m originally from Acton Vale, Quebec. I’ve completed a Bachelors of Arts with a Major in Anthropology from McGill University and a post-graduate certificate from Humber College in International Project Management. In between my studies, I have participated in international volunteer opportunities.

Christine Lalonde(Bolivia 2011)

Working on an international development project in the field is a dream come true for me. I lived in developing countries while growing up, which made me aware of the pressing needs of people and communities in the South. Today, I am thrilled to be supporting rural youth as a Microfinance and Youth Entrepreneurship Program Advisor with FONCRESOL (Fondo de Crédito Solidario)

Quentin Navarre (Ghana 2011)

At times, trips and intercultural exchanges lead us far away from our own habits and customs. Travel allows us to see the world in a different way; it opens doors to new experiences, which are rife with lessons that change and shape us. This is why I am leaving for Ghana, where I hope to pursue my dreams as a documentary filmmaker for CCI, an international cooperation NGO.

Dario Sacramento (Togo 2011)

As a teenager, I realized that I did not wish to contribute to the wealth of individuals or organizations whose only goal was to make profits. Rather, I decided to help make our world better. That is why I completed a master’s degree in Project Management, with a focus on international development projects. After briefly working for an international development organization in Montreal, I found my first chance to work in the field with CCI.

Sebastian Kindsvater (Bolivia 2011)

After growing up in Vancouver, I moved to Montreal. In 2008 I graduated from McGill’s faculty of management. Degree in hand, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I became consumed by the post graduation competition for jobs: I felt like I was being swept away by a current, an unwilling participant in a rat race, competing for a job with no meaning.

Ellie Hashemi (Ghana 2011)

I am fortunate enough to have been raised in a culture that prides itself over its multiculturalism and that recognizes diveristy as a form of social cohesion. By growing up in this particular environment, I developed a strong appetite from very early on to learn more about the world locally and globally, and so my decision to work overseas comes as no surprise.

Erin Kelly (Mali 2011)

For as long as I can remember I have had an interest in international development. As a young person I had the benefit of traveling extensively with my family to many different parts of the world. As a result I developed an early appreciation for the value of cultural diversity as well as for the gross inequalities and injustices that plague many poorer parts of the world.

Joumana Yahchouchi (Mali 2011)

A Montrealer by birth, I am currently completing a master’s degree in international management. As part of my internship requirement, I will work as a CCI volunteer in Mali, where I will explore partnership opportunities with community-based organizations that support entrepreneurship for women and youth.

Julie Ménard (Senegal 2011)

I am officially trading the Siberian cold of Montreal for the warm sun of Senegal. The next five months will be rife with shock (climate, food, culture!), but also rich with new and memorable encounters.

Kibamba Nimon (Mali 2011)

Originally from Togo, I came to Canada ten years ago, in 2001, to study at the Université de Montréal. After completing a B.A. in Political Science and Economics, I graduated as a Master of Urban Planning in 2007, from the same university.

Melissa Mok (Ghana 2011)

Hi! My name is Mel. I'm a recent graduate of McGill University, where I earned an honours degree in International Development. My interest in development was sparked by a gap year in Thailand, where I lived with a local family on the Thai/Laos/Cambodia border.

Aimee Pugao (Ghana 2011)

We are all part of one family; as each of us is a wave in one ocean. I have always been an advocate for human rights and sustainability, in all notions of the word. This is my opportunity to promote this cause on an international level. Since, I believe gender equality is so much greater than the goal itself; it is a necessity for justice, sustainability, reducing poverty and living in a world where people and life itself are respected and valued.

Amber Minnings (Zimbabwe 2011)

Mhoroi! My name is Amber Minnings and starting in January 2011 I will be living in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I’ll work as a Communications Associate with the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ). Throughout my internship I will help to strengthen the WCoZ's communications abilities by working closely with communications staff, contributing to publications and holding training workshops for members of the organization on topics ranging from computer skills to photography to social media.



Tara Scanlan (Bolivia 2010)

Having had the opportunity to see the world, I am currently living my dream by being able to make a difference in the global south. As the Fair Trade Marketing Specialist for FONCRESOL in La Paz, Bolivia, I am optimizing trade opportunities for small fair trade organic producers. Originally from Nova Scotia, I recently graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa with a Bachelor of International Business (Honours) and a concentration in International Marketing and Trade.

Gregory Fortin-Vidah(Togo 2010)

For as long as I can remember, I was taught to view people of the world as being part of one family and to consider humanity as being possessed of two wings: the male and the female. Thus, "so long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly" (Baha’i scripture). This explains why, in my view, international solidarity and equality between man and woman are two very important principles, and I am conscious of the fact that a lot still needs to be accomplished in order for humanity to “take off”.

Renée Hébert (Togo 2010)

I’ve always had the urge to go live and work abroad in order to discover a different part of the world. After completing my Masters degree in sociology, I worked in communications for the non profit sector, including an international NGO here in Montreal. That experience gave me a taste for the world of development and inspired me to want to use my skills and expertise on the ground.

Ji-Young Kim (Ghana 2010)

I majored in International Business Administration, and I never imagined that I would be using the degree in the field of international development and gender equality. So I am really happy to be part of the Women's Entrepreneurship Development Project with Pro-Link for 5 months in Ghana.

Martha Lucia Gomez (Bolivia 2010)

It’s been a huge pleasure for me to be part of the CCI team on two different occasions. The first time I went to Mali, and that experience inspired me to not only keep discovering other cultures, but to start thinking about how I can contribute my own efforts to the international development process.

Andrea Casey (Swaziland 2010) 

Sayobona! My name is Andrea Casey. I am currently living and working in Swaziland (a small kingdom located in Southern Africa bordering South Africa and Mozambique) as an intern at Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA). As a monitoring and evaluation researcher for the Girls Empowerment Program, I have the wonderful opportunity to work with a program that creates a space for girls to learn about and discuss their rights and important issues that affect their lives.

Kari M. Jones-Azure (Ghana 2010)

Mixing together business education and previous experience working in Ghana in the fund procurement field, along with an aspiration to actively participate in development and skill-sharing, then combining that with the chance to work with ProLink Ghana via CCI, is a recipe that I cannot wait to taste.

Annie Colavita (Togo 2010)

Hello everyone! Working overseas and contributing to important community projects has been a long-standing dream of mine. Probably since my pig-tail days :-) My first trip to Africa was in March 2010, when I spent four weeks in Swaziland volunteering with AIDS orphans. On my return I realized I wasn’t quite ready to give up the dream and return to the 9-5 workday.

Annie's blog:

Gabrielle Zilkha (Ghana 2010)

I'm excited to join the CCI team as a volunteer working in Accra, Ghana for five months. Originally from Montreal, I moved to Toronto to pursue a Bachelors degree at the University of Toronto in Equity Studies, English and Sexual Diversity Studies. Through my studies I became passionate about social justice and international development - focusing primarily on gender equity and HIV/AIDS. Much of my work in this field has focused on youth engagement and education.


Tenille Brown (Swaziland 2010)

I am thrilled to have been chosen by Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) to work as a legal researcher in Swaziland for 6 months. My official employment title is `Court Watch Researcher` and in this capacity, I will begin research monitoring the treatment of women and the issue of domestic violence by the courts of Swaziland, with Swaziland partner organisation, Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse. My role will be to monitor the courts in Swaziland, research and disseminate the legal rights women hold, and to advocate for changes to the law.


Sara Robinson (Bolivia 2010)

Who is Sara Robinson? I was born and grew up on the west coast of Canada around the Vancouver area. Anyone who has ever been there knows that it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Now however it is time for a temporary change of scene as I head of to La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. Where is Bolivia?, well it's a country of great contrast as it runs, high up in the Andes on the border with Peru, down into the Amazon sloping toward Brazil and Paraguay.


Matt Watson (Ghana 2010)

I am 28 years old and have a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Law. Early on in my law school career, however, I realized that I didn’t want to practice law at a big corporate firm like most of peers. I’m encouraged by the way that law can be not just a tool for basic social ordering, but also a way to make the social order more just.


Marina Salazar (Canada 2010)

For several years I have been waiting an opportunity like this, I am quite interested in meeting other people, learning from them, and from their customs. All these years, since I finished my studies, I have worked in my country's rural communities and through the institutions I have worked for, I have always tried, to the best of my ability, to help people in-need in someway or another.


Maxim Doucet (Mali 2009)

For as long as I can remember, I've loved to meet people and learn about new cultures, new lands, new ways of thinking and doing… After receiving my undergraduate degree in international administration, I had a strong urge to devote my energies to activities and projects aimed at promoting a fairer, more just society.

Marie Beauchamp (Niger 2009)

In 2003, my partner and I realized a cherished dream: to backpack around the world, broadening our horizons and opening ourselves to other cultures. Our trip took us to Senegal, Mali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Greece, Spain and Holland. The journey was an eye-opener for us both.

Jean François Gagnon (Togo 2009)

I am 30 years old and have always wanted to go to Africa and be involved in international development. When I completed my studies in International Relations at the University of Montreal, I promised myself that I would have that experience, and here I am, ready to leave for a second trip to Togo! While it is less of an unknown for me this time, I am motivated to learn more about Africa.

Fabián Mendivil (Canada 2009)

I am an economist and I work for ANED, a development organization dedicated to supporting rural people who are especially poor in Bolivia. My academic interests revolve around financial and non-financial risk management and economic development.

Sam Slover (Bolivia 2008-09)

I interned in Bolivia with Pro Rural, working to research, design and set up a new seed and start-up capital program. I have always been drawn to the empowerment that comes with entrepreneurship, and this assignment allowed me to use my financial background to help rural Bolivian producers get access to the capital that will start their businesses (their dreams). I am still humbled by the creativity, dreams and energy of these Bolivian entrepreneurs.

Mark Bergshoeff (Bolivia 2008-09)

In May 2004, I completed a B.A. at Trent University with a major in International Development Studies and a minor in Economics. My third year of studies was spent participating in the Trent in Ecuador program offered by Trent. While in Ecuador my interest in Latin American issues grew and specifically, my affinity with the Andean region.

Kate Marshall (Bolivia 2008-09)

The opportunity to travel at an early age triggered my passion for international issues due to the exposure I had to a wide range of social and economic injustices that I had never seen before. This awareness led towards a degree in International Development at the University of British Columbia and a desire to continue to see the world in different ways.

Clémence Tatin-Jaleran (Bolivia 2008-09)

Through my work, I hope to contribute to the promotion of alternative financial services in Bolivia and more social justice. I want to match my values, my work and my interests.

Janelle Gerestein (Bolivia 2008-09)

I have been very interested in Latin American culture for some time and am excited for the chance to improve my Spanish even further. I wanted to be able to use my degree to help others and have positive impact on the community I am in. As a supporter of fair trade and with my educational background I am looking forward to starting my work placement!

Alejandro Zuluaga (Bolivia 2008-09)

I became deeply committed in my free time to Latin American politics, social consciousness, education as a form of liberation and many other activist issues. I became deeply frustrated as I learnt about the numerous and complex neoliberal constraints upon Canadian (and Latin American) education and culture today. In early 2008, I presented a critique paper in Cuba about the Canadian health care and education systems, where I had the opportunity to glimpse Cuban culture and politics. This triggered a vision, a mission and a passion for further traveling in me.

Karen Matthews (Bolivia 2008-09)

My love of all things Latin American began 25 years ago when I backpacked around South America. Needless to say, many things have changed since that time. When I saw the posting for Gender and Women´s Rights Training Specialist in Bolivia I knew immediately that it was a challenge I wanted to undertake. My kids are grown and my work as an Evaluation and Training Consultant is flexible enough to allow me to take 6 months away. So my dream of returning to South America has come true.

Joanna Griffiths (Bolivia 2008-09)

For the past three years Joanna has worked as a communications specialist at Universal Music Canada working with some of the world's most renowned musical artists. However, it was a recent trip to Central America when she rediscovered her passion for Latin American culture and the Spanish language and decided to become a cross-roader. It has always been a dream of Joanna's to live in South America, work in a cross cultural environment and learn about the local culture and language. Joanna is currently living out that dream in La Paz, Bolivia where she is working for 5 months as a Marketing Advisor with Pro-Rural.

Reena Shadaan (Ghana 2008-09)

I am deeply committed to and passionate about this field; therefore, the opportunity to travel to Ghana and become an Intern for Women in Law and Development in Africa-Ghana (WiLDAF) was an extremely exciting opportunity for me. While in Ghana, I am working in the realm of gender development, mainly focusing on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Law. Most recently, I have been conducting research on the impact of foreign presence and the oil industry on women. Following the completion of my internship, I hope to continue my education in the field of international development and utilize my skills to continue to work on an international level.

James Leong (Ghana 2008-09)

James became interested in international issues through a course he attended which examined the politics of famine and global malnutrition. In law school, James became interested in issues including environmental concerns and equality as enshrined by law. Upon completion of his degree, he decided to defer articling and thus became an intern with CCI.

Julie Ouellet (Swaziland 2008-09)

Julie began her internship as an M & E Officer for the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) in September 2008. Julie’s main responsibility at SWAGAA involves monitoring and evaluating the Girls’ Empowerment Programme pilot project. This project has been adapted from the well know Girl Child Network (GCN) model which has been very successful in empowering girls on issues of abuse, HIV/AIDS, and rights.

Samuel Juru (Swaziland 2008-09)

In October 2008, I was excited to learn that I was selected for yet another placement in Africa, this time in Swaziland though Canadian Crossroads International (CCI). CCI is heavily involved in building the capacity of organizations that focus on gender empowerment and HIV/AIDS. My placement is with an AIDS organization called The AIDS Information and Support Centre (TASC). My responsibilities as the communications officer include, designing a communications strategy for TASC as well as training local staff to better profile their organisation.

Caroline Wagner – Swaziland (2007-08)

I arrived in the Kingdom of Swaziland in early November armed with a mini-digital camera, a laptop for editing and 20 blank tapes. My goal was to shoot a video for Canadian Crossroads International, the organization that sent me abroad, and another for my host organization, the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA).


Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: