To whom it may concern

This book has been produced as part of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of democracy in South Africa. It consists of accounts from a range of people associated with Skillshare International over more than thirty years, focusing mostly on those working or volunteering on programmes in Southern Africa. Some were caught up in the region’s struggles for independence by choice, and some simply by being there. The diversity of contributions from people working in different countries and different sectors reflects the cost of the struggle against apartheid to those countries that vehemently opposed the South African regime.

In the post-apartheid era, the issues have changed. A new generation of international volunteers has become involved in the challenge. Their stories, as they address the vital need for skills development and organisational growth as well as the impact of HIV/AIDS and poverty in general, reflect the challenges facing present day Southern African societies and their governments.

Most of the stories are told here for the first time and are evidence of the solidarity and comradeship between people across a physical and cultural divide, united in their desire for a just society.

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