This guidebook is a collection of stories of African development projects that have transformed the lives of individuals and communities through collaborative partnerships.
Through the study of these successful collaborations, readers will learn to:
• Engage in capacity-building for collective problem-solving at the community level.
• Work collaboratively for women’s empowerment.
• Mobilize culturally diverse communities to plan, implement, and evaluate sustainable community development.
• Build meaningful collaborations among university and grassroots partners.
• Maximize volunteer skills and match them to community needs.
The Women’s Global Connection (WGC; www.womensglobalconnection.org) embarked on this journey of cross-cultural engagement and capacity-building with one intention, grounded on three pillars:
• Local ownership demanded individual and community involvement and buy-in.
• Social empowerment required that each of our endeavors resulted in the local community’s capacity to share the knowledge and replicate the training that was offered.
• The promise of sustainability curbed our efforts to engage only in projects that held the hope of long-term sustainability by the community itself.
Years of collaboration among the women’s cooperatives, WGC, a private Catholic university, and countless volunteers has demonstrated the unbounded potential of reaching across boundaries and barriers to build a more responsible sense of global citizenship in today’s inequitable world society.