This is the third year that U of G has participated in Leave for Change, which promotes short-term volunteer opportunities for people to help out with meaningful projects in international settings. The program is run through Uniterra and was created by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Centre for International Studies and Co-operation (CISC).

Guelph was the first university in English-speaking Canada to participate. Over the next few months, U of G employees will be going to Vietnam, Botswana, Malawi and Nepal to work on a variety of projects designed to build capacities among people in these countries in areas as diverse as legislative & judicial development, computing and technically-based communications, business planning, and government lobbying/advocacy.

My assignment is with the Coalition of Women Living with AIDS and HIV (COWLA) in Malawi.  I will be in Lilongwe, the capital city, for three weeks (June 6 to 28) helping the women in this organization build their capacities for leading change by supporting skill acquisition and planning for government lobbying activities.  I understand that they particularly want to focus on changes they see necessary to Malawi’s Domestic Violence Act.