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Christopher Sharpe is YCI’s second new intern at our Toronto headquarters. No stranger to YCI, Chris is also a recent alumni of the Youth Ambassadors program in Korforidua, Ghana. Chris has recently decided to pursue a career in the international development field after working several years as an education professional. As a graduate of both the University of Toronto and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Chris’ academic interest lies in Canadian government and politics, democratic institutions, voting systems and comparative foreign policy. Chris is passionate about working with youth to foster education and engagement in civil society and advocacy. As such, he is very excited to be the new Public Engagement Intern at YCI!
My name is Christopher Sharpe and I am an education professional currently transitioning into a career in international development. I was born in Toronto and raised in both Canada and the United States (Washington, D.C.). I did my Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
Since finishing school I have worked as an educator in a variety of capacities. I have been an academic tutor at the University of Toronto, as well as an English teacher in both South Korea and Japan. I have experience teaching people of all ages from small children to teenagers, university students, professional adults and retirees!
My interests in international development include good governance, institutional capacity building and the creation of an educated and active civil society. I am particularly interested in working with youth to help develop their critical thinking and analysis skills as it relates to good governance. This is what brought me to join Youth Challenge International; I spent 6 weeks this summer as a Youth Ambassador in YCI’s project based in Koforidua, Ghana.
While there I worked in partnership with the YMCA Youth Mentorship Program on issues related to HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness and prevention, as well as effective youth mobilization and advocacy in a democratic context. I was particularly excited about participating in the YMCA National Youth Conference, held at the University of Ghana, where I was able to present on “Youth and Civic Participation: The Canadian Experience”.
Since returning from Ghana, I’ve been making the transition into a career in the international development sector in my hometown of Toronto. I joined the education division of the Toronto based NGO TakingITGlobal as their Global Encounters Video Conference Coordinator where I worked to facilitate global issues-based video conferences with high school students from all over the world. Following this, I was incredibly excited about being offered (and accepting!) the position of Public Engagement Intern at the Youth Challenge International Head Office in Toronto. I’m very much looking forward to working on issues of youth development and promoting the many exciting programs that YCI has coming up in 2013!
In my spare time I enjoy travelling abroad, learning new languages, playing the piano and water sports. I particularly enjoy spending time at my cottage in the Kawartha Lakes.
“Slow down everyone. You’re moving too fast” - Jack Johnson.
This quotation exemplifies the atmosphere in Costa Rica. Upon arriving in Costa Rica, the 5 human senses come alive; the 5 senses consists of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Let me take you on a short journey to Acosta Palmichal, where these 5 senses go on an adventure so grand that it is easy to forget that you are volunteering!
I was immediately amazed at the beauty of Costa Rica; throughout the entire drive to Palmichal the picturesque mountains appearing in the distance and the extension of branches from trees leaning over the highway created a feeling of driving into something that was grand beyond human recognition. The Mountain View left me stunned as I witnessed the development in the area mixed with the amount of green landscape; it was a wondrous sight like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The coffee plantations up the side of the mountain and the lime trees growing near the road, mixed in with different fruits, all demonstrate the versatility of the soil in the area.
Once arriving at our location, it was absolutely spectacular to know there was fresh lime right at my doorstep! And the different species of birds in the area was astonishing; from eagles, toucans and even hummingbirds. Meeting the members of ADESSARU (English translation: Association for the sustainable development of the rural San Jose) gave me an insight to the area, but what made the area even more enjoyable were the smiling faces of the people as I greeted them.
One of the first things I noticed was the sound of the rushing river; it creates a peaceful sound throughout the day and night. It exemplifies the saying around here “tranquillo”, meaning relax and take your time. During the day you hear motorcycles going up the mountains and cars carrying people to work in the coffee plantations up high in the mountain. Striking up a conversation is as simple as saying hello or inviting someone to have coffee. Enjoying coffee together is the simplest way to get to know the person you are talking to, for it is a sign of welcome and friendship. The chatter of the young children and adults echoing in the distance mixed in with tranquility of the area during the day created a very welcoming work environment.
The birds singing in the background, the sounds of crickets and other bugs communicating to each other showed the activity that happens during the day up in the trees. At night it is a different story, the area comes to life. The howling of the dogs in the area breaks the smooth tranquility of the area… at least on the first day. After that the first night the barking of the dogs mixed in with the smooth rush of the river was the equivalent of a lullaby sang by the most magnificent and soothing voice in the world. Insomnia? Never heard of it.
Before arriving in Palmichal, I was warned about the abundance of rice and beans that would make up my diet here. However it wasn’t mentioned that cilantro would add flavour to many of the foods that are prepared in the area. In our household another major part of our diet was pancakes as a side dish to go with anything else that was cooked. It was a unanimous decision to add pancakes or to make an excuse to add them to our meals!
There is a trout restaurant here where you get to fish for the trout and then it is cooked using traditional ingredients right over the fire; it is incredible! One of the people we became quite familiar with was Vivian who was in charge of the ADESSARU lodge. She showed us how to cook some of the local dishes with flair. She showed us different ways to cook certain types of meat such as chicken and beef and different types of desserts. It always left you wanting more.
The production of coffee is an important part of the monetary income in the area. Drinking coffee is also just as important as any other activity in the area. Since I’m not a coffee drinker I wouldn’t know how great it tastes, but I’ve been told that the coffee here is incredible. Sergio, a new friend of mine, once told me “great coffee never needs milk or sugar”.
The amount of cooking in the area fills the air with the aroma of sweet fragrances that makes one hungry even minutes after just eating. The smell of coffee being made in the morning, midday and the evening fills the air with its aroma. The flowers in the area have a very distinct sweet smell that once you walk by, you have to stop yourself to smell the flowers. The lime trees provide a sweet scent inviting you to pick some to incorporate in your food or drink. The smell of the jungle invites you to explore deeper into the area. There is a flower, la Reina de la Noche (Queen of the Night) that emits a beautiful smell when you walk by it, but only at night. I cannot explain the smell very well, but it is worth it to stop and take in the aroma as they leave a pleasant smell in the area during the night.
Working on projects allows you to feel your surroundings, such as the trees and plants. Certain plants have a rough feel at the top, while on the bottom it is very smooth. Deep in the jungle there is a certain plant by the name of Ortiga, that has a worse reputation than poison ivy; the slightest touch causes awful pain and itchiness. Luckily those that come across it cut it down and place it out of harm’s way.
A warm hearty handshake to begin the day, a hug to announce your arrival and the high fives that the group gives each other once a job has been finished. A simple human interaction that makes volunteering such a wonderful experience, that no matter the language barrier it is a simple way of insuring that you are now friends. “Slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast”, enjoy the simple things that life has to offer.
- Sheriff Wiredu, Youth Discovery Volunteer, Costa Rica 2012
If you are interested in volunteering in Costa Rica in the upcoming year, check out our 4-week program leaving next February. For information on all our overseas placements, check out our Program Calendar.
In honour of International Volunteer Day on Wednesday December 5th, YCI would like to spend some time this week to recognize the importance of our volunteers by showcasing some of our alumni and their stories.
First up is Kristy, who previously volunteered with YCI in Guyana in 2006 and is now joining the YCI team as the new Program Development Intern! Before joining us in the Toronto office, Kristy spent 8 months in Mombasa, Kenya, through the Aga Khan International Fellowship, where she interned with the Madrassa Resource Centre Kenya on an early childhood education programme. Previous to that, she was in Suzhou, China where she taught English with the Suzhou International Foreign Language School. Kristy is very excited to once again be involved with YCI. Welcome Kristy!
How did you get involved in YCI?
I first heard of Youth Challenge International when I was waiting to speak to my program counselor at University of Guelph, in the International Development Studies department. I saw a poster that asked me “Are you up for the challenge?” At the time I had been trying to figure out ways to go abroad to get real life experience in International Development. I was aching to see life on the ground and actually be a part of the change at the local level. So at that moment, I was definitely up for a challenge. Weeks later, I was accepted into the Guyana program where I spent 2 months in Port Kaituma with 9 other volunteers. Our main tasks were to develop and facilitate Youth Life Skills Week at the local school, design and facilitate community-based workshops on health, and distribute information on HIV/AIDS within neighbouring Amerindian villages.
Little did I know that this once in a life-time experience would lead me down a path to focusing on children and youth issues within International Development. Since then, I have worked with First Nations youth, taught ESL in China to university and elementary students, and supported an Early Childhood and Development NGO in Kenya. My passion for children and youth development has only strengthened and I now find myself working alongside YCI again, continuing along that path I paved six years ago.
What does your position at YCI entail?
I am the Program Development Intern at YCI’s Toronto headquarters. I am mainly responsible for supporting the CIDA funding renewal for the upcoming call for proposals. Funds from CIDA mainly support YCI’s volunteer programming in Tanzania and Ghana. I am thrilled to gain more experience in proposal writing and I am learning a lot about the ‘ins and outs’ of CIDA guidelines and procedures.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing youth today?
I have always been an ardent believer that education is the most important issue facing the developing world. Throughout my work and research with children and youth, I’ve come to discover that a sense of worth and confidence, paired with a specific skill set, can make all the difference in the world for our next generation of leaders. Ultimate poverty is the absence of self-worth. Through mentoring, friendship, skills-building, leadership training, and other educational opportunities, we can find what it takes for a child or young person to say, “Wow, I didn’t know I could do that!” – and that is the very first step in realizing the potential of young people on our planet.
Outside of work, what are some of your favourite things to do?
Above all else, camping is my passion. And I don’t mean parking a car in a designated spot near an already set up fireplace, within walking distance to heated showers and modern toilets – I’m talking about the backcountry kind. Whenever I get a long weekend, I pack up my provisions (including my husband and my dog), rent a canoe (if we’re canoeing), and take off to Killarney, Algonquin, or the French River, and spend the days and kilometers hiking or paddling. For me, it’s the greatest escape and an amazing way to appreciate our country and Mother Nature.
Random Fun Fact: I was proposed to near a set of rapids during at 30 km paddle down the French River!
This time last year I was huddled over a computer in an internet cafe in Cusco, Peru, Skyping to YCI staff about an upcoming Youth Innovator position in Accra, Ghana. Here’s what happened after that conversation.
In February 2012, I signalled my first share taxi to the Ghana YMCA where I was to spend the next six weeks in collaboration with YCI. With branches across eight of Ghana’s ten administrative regions, the Ghana YMCA serves approximately one million people in 75+ communities across the country, its facilities ranging from early childhood development and care centres and community clinics to vocational training institutes.
As Marketing and Communications Innovator my primary role was to streamline a marketing and communications strategy for the Ghana YMCA, prioritizing the use of social media towards growing membership. Over the six weeks I was privileged to visit several of the Ghana YMCA’s key outposts across the country — I photographed, I interviewed and I profiled towards spreading the good word about the Ghana YMCA’s diversity of service and programs.
I visited the YMCA Vocational Training Institute, where primarily female students are gaining valuable skills towards employability in hospitality and fashion. I travelled to Kumasi, Ghana’ second largest city, where I learned the Ghana YMCA’s membership extends not only to women, but Muslim women. In both places, like in Koforidua, home to the Ghana YMCA’s Eastern Region Secretariat, what impressed and inspired me was the absolute passion and tireless commitment coming from staff and supporters.
My time with the Ghana YMCA was short-lived but the experience anything but. Part of the reason I wanted to go to Ghana was to gain some professional experience in Africa towards prioritizing an international development focus in my career. I’d never worked in Africa until that point, and felt the YCI Innovator position would greatly contribute to my longer-term professional and personal objectives.
I’m happy to say I’m now working as a Research Consultant with the Division of Communication at UNICEF Headquarters. With a strong presence in 190 countries and territories UNICEF is a respected United Nations agency working in support of the world’s children. Under the Direction of the Brand Management Section Chief I’m involved in several projects on brand management best practice, brand performance and reputation risk, and I’m headed for New York in January 2013.
It’s been an incredible year since that Skype conversation — from Cusco to New York via Accra. And I’ll forever be grateful for the welcome words I heard, the enthusiasm I saw and the encouragement I repeatedly felt at the Ghana YMCA. You can take the girl out of Ghana, but you can’t take Ghana out of the girl.
-Veronica Lasanowski, Youth Innovator, Ghana 2012
It’s hard to believe, but soon it will be three years since I volunteered with YCI in Ghana in February 2010. I have been up to quite a bit since I volunteered and the path my life has taken can all be connected back to my experience with YCI. When I went to Ghana, I was at a point in my life where I had been out of university for about a year, and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life. I figured this was my chance to go to Africa-a place I had always dreamed of going. I went, I volunteered and from that experience, I was re-energized and ready to start my new path in life. I applied to do my Masters at Acadia University and have spent the past two years of my life studying international volunteerism. During my studies I had the privilege of being a co-leader on two international projects to Belize and Argentina, and I spent six weeks in The Gambia conducting research for my masters. I am now working with the Town of Wolfville as their Programs & Events Coordinator while I finish my thesis. In my position, I get to work with youth in my community. My hope is to encourage these youth to participate in international volunteerism and experience a new culture and challenge themselves. I also continue to work with various international NGO’s including the Paradigm Shift Project, Oxfam Canada, and The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation. I have to continue working with you and creating opportunities for people to volunteer overseas. These are incredible life-changing experiences. For me, volunteering internationally has become a regular aspect of my life. I have had some great opportunities over the past couple years and it all started with my project in Ghana with YCI.
-Robin Campbell, Youth Ambassador, Ghana 2010
It was over 9 months ago that I arrived in Ghana to volunteer as a Gender Innovator through YCI. From January-March 2012 over a period of 7 weeks, I worked in Accra at the Ghanaian NGO Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES) with another YCI Innovator to develop a Gender Equality Policy and formal Implementation Strategy. During my placement, I collaborated with fantastic Ghanaian and Canadian colleagues while promoting gender equality, listened to the passionate voices of YES-Ghana youth activists, and was privileged with the opportunity to see some of Ghana’s beauty over weekend travels to places such as Cape Coast and Kumasi.
The incredible educational and professional experience I had through YCI encouraged subsequent international opportunities. Currently, I am an intern at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Cape Town, South Africa through the CIDA IYIP program. In this role I am also working on gender equality projects, such as researching the impact of health systems on gender issues and encouraging social sciences researchers to be attentive to issues of gender in their various projects.
Although I am thousands of kilometers away from Ghana, I have wonderful memories of the experiences I had and the friendships I made during my YCI placement in Accra. I hope to cross paths with my Ghanaian and Canadian friends in the future and dance the Azonto once more!
To read more about my CIDA IYIP placement in Cape Town, check out my blog: mgbevans.tumblr.com
-Meredith Evans, Youth Innovator, Ghana 2012
Upon my return from Tanzania with Youth Challenge International, I could not wait to get back on a plane to teach and volunteer again. I wanted to re-experience the excitement of submerging yourself in a new country, learning a new language, and meeting new people. I felt that in order to make the difference that I wanted to make in the world, I would have to get on a plane to do so.
Yet a year went by. Apart from spending a week in New York, I stayed in Canada and didn’t travel abroad to teach or volunteer. . But did I feel as though I did not get to make a difference in the world? Not quite.
One great thing I learned from my trip with YCI was that it did not matter where I was volunteering, as long as I was doing something that mattered. And what mattered did not need to have immediate results nor a large-scale impact– it could have been a difference so small that only I could have felt it. It did not matter where I volunteered or how many people I worked with – and this is the beauty of making an impact on the world. If I wanted to feel like I was making a difference, I could do it at home and make an equally important impact.
This summer I was lucky enough to coordinate a summer day camp program for children of underprivileged families living in my community. I had the chance to run eight weeks of a free day camp, in an attempt to give these disadvantaged children amazing experiences that they would remember for a lifetime. Running a camp for 70 children can be stressful but there is also nothing as rewarding. At the end of the summer, I knew that I would not have wanted to be anywhere else.
I plan to continue doing my part to make a difference in my community, this time using my education. I was recently accepted to a teaching program where I will receive my Bachelor’s in Education and become a certified teacher. I am excited to be able to use my education to continue making a positive impact on my community. However, this does not mean that I will not be continuing my volunteering internationally. My project with YCI showed me that travelling is extremely rewarding, especially if your travel includes volunteering abroad. Having gone to Tanzania with YCI proved to me that I could get out of my comfort zone and try new challenges – and succeed. In February, I will be travelling to China to teach for nine weeks. I cannot wait for this trip. After my project with YCI, I know how much fun volunteering abroad can be, and I am expecting my trip to China to be just as exceptional.
A year has passed since my return from Tanzania and the memories that I had after my project are not as vivid as they once were. However, my YCI trip taught me a great deal about who I am and what I am able to accomplish, and because of that my trip will always hold a special place in my heart. The world needs people who care for those around them, and we can always do our part. This can mean travelling to another country and volunteering your time, or by simply making a difference in the lives of those living in our local communities.
-Sureet Rai, Youth Ambassador, Tanzania 2011
In July of 2007, I found myself covered in red dirt, equipped with large rubber boots, a bandana and a shovel, digging a ditch on a volcano in Costa Rica. I was there with Youth Challenge International (YCI) for a five-week project. Little did I know, this experience was going to have a profound impact on my life.
Like most students, after graduating from university with a bachelor’s degree, I had very little idea of what I was going to do next. I wasn’t quite ready to hit the work force permanently but I also wasn’t ready to hang out at home all summer. Several hours of surfing the Internet for ideas finally led to the discovery of volunteer projects abroad then ultimately, Youth Challenge International. Before I knew it, I was in Costa Rica along with a group of 11 amazing people, from all over Canada and with diverse backgrounds. Our task was to physically build an aqueduct that would be providing potable water for 25 nearby communities. It didn’t take me very long to recognize that I had discovered my passion. I had realized that doing development work was something I felt I ought to do.
Prior to my experience in Costa Rica, I had completed a degree in Global Political Economy where we had studied several poverty issues from different countries around the world. I had traveled in the past and had caught a glimpse of poverty here and there, though I had never actually been to a developing country or seen it first hand. What I quickly noticed upon my arrival in Costa Rica was that no textbook would ever come close to teaching me what I would learn abroad.
During that time, the most important thing I had come to understand was that I actually had a bigger role in all of this. With education and learning, whether in a classroom, or in any every day setting, comes a responsibility. I was beginning to understand that I not only had a responsibility to share what I had learned, but I also had the privilege and opportunity of doing something more with that knowledge. Simply stated, in Costa Rica I shared knowledge that I had learned at home in university, and when I returned home I applied new qualities and capabilities to my daily life from lessons learned with a fond appreciation of my time in Costa Rica. The skills I developed, such as adaptability, respect for other cultures, and a newfound type of patience I acquired abroad have become so valuable and continue to be applicable to many other situations.
These experiences prompted me to return to university to study International Development and Conflict Resolution in order to get at the heart of development abroad. In turn, that has since inspired me to participate in three other projects in Africa, for periods ranging between three weeks to nine months. I can’t dispute that my education was pivotal and reinforced my experiences abroad, however, that experience itself essentially landed me a consulting position on a project for which I had recently volunteered. Additionally, I have just been hired for a project with the United Nations where I was told that my experience abroad was the determining factor in obtaining the position. In the next few months, I will embark on yet more adventures, once again in Africa and for the first time, in Asia.
It can be difficult to explain the value of doing development work abroad to someone who has never been. Some things are certain: there will be challenging times, it will often be exhausting and highly taxing, and you might commit a number of cultural faux pas. There will probably be an adjustment period, and you might be a little scared at times (or even a lot!). However, you will also meet new people, have once in a lifetime opportunities, and have the chance to experience other cultures first hand. You will gain new skills that will make you more employable, and you might discover a few things about yourself. Perhaps most importantly, you will have the opportunity to make positive changes in people’s lives that will impact a community.
What I appreciated most about YCI – the organization that introduced me to working abroad – was that they conduct and participate in ethically sound development work. Not only did this fuel my passion for humanitarian work, knowing that it can be difficult or even controversial at times, but it showed me that working abroad can be a very positive, life changing experience for all those involved.
Why not turn your overseas travels into a more profound and meaningful learning experience where you can impact the lives of individuals or a community in need? It is not only an incredible opportunity to be fully embedded in a foreign culture and meet new people but also to spend your weekends living on the edge by going rafting on the Nile, trekking with mountain gorillas, or kissing a giraffe.
Standing on Volcan Arenal five years ago – soaking wet from the rain, exhausted and dirty though satisfied after a hard days work, admiring the view of lush rain forests – I was only beginning to understand that what they say is true: the world is your oyster.
-Lisa Gaudry, Youth Ambassador, Costa Rica 2007
YCI is currently recruiting for two projects in Costa Rica. If you only have two weeks to spare of the winter break, check out this project departing December 26th: http://bit.ly/YCICostaRica2wk. Two weeks to short for you? Check out our Program Calendar for a full list of upcoming projects in Costa Rica.
Amanda has recently joined YCI as the Volunteer Program Coordinator and is very excited to support volunteers as they prepare to go on project. A graduate of The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario, Amanda specialized in entrepreneurship and has a passion for youth livelihoods, microfinance, and using business for social good. Amanda realized her strong interest in international development and social entrepreneurship when she worked in Kenya in both 2009 and 2010 with Western Heads East where she assisted women’s groups with the start-up of a community-based microenterprise. Most recently she worked with YCI in Guyana as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Project Officer where she launched a new women’s networking initiative to train and support over 50 female entrepreneurs. Amanda enjoys working with young people, learning about new cultures, and playing soccer everywhere she goes.
What does your job at YCI involve:
My job is the best! As the Volunteer Program Coordinator, I work very closely with all of our wonderful volunteers to support them throughout the entire preparation process and make sure that they are well prepared for project. As the main contact at YCI for volunteers, I interview and select candidates, provide them with all project information and resources for preparation, facilitate their pre-departure training, and provide ongoing support throughout their entire time with YCI. My goal is to make sure we have the best volunteers on board and to ensure they have a valuable experience that contributes to the long-term success of our youth development programs.
How did you get involved with YCI?
In January 2011, I was thrilled to be selected as a CIDA intern with YCI to work in Guyana for nine months. I was immediately impressed with YCI’s approach to youth development, their continuous support, and extensive preparation and training.
From March to December, I worked with Youth Challenge Guyana (YCG) as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Project Officer where I designed, implemented, and managed a new women’s networking initiative to train and support 50 female entrepreneurs. In this position, I coordinated and facilitated business training workshops, organized a mentorship program, hosted networking events, provided advice to the entrepreneurs, and identified opportunities for the female entrepreneurs to gain experience and exposure. It was a phenomenal internship and I absolutely loved working in Guyana with YCG and the wonderful local staff.
What motivates you?
Working with exciting, fun, passionate people and making people happy!
What youth issues concern you most?
I am most passionate about youth livelihoods and specifically youth entrepreneurship. With approximately 88.2 million young women and men unemployed globally, entrepreneurship is critical to create jobs, boost economic growth, and improve the communities that we live in. With so many talented smart young people in the world, entrepreneurship is a phenomenal opportunity for youth to create their own path for success.
What else do you do?
Soccer! I play any chance I can get and I also coach a U10 girls competitive team. I am also an avid snowboarder and rollerblader and I enjoy doing anything active. I spend my free time hanging out with friends and meeting new people, and I love to travel, listen to music and dance!
YCI has another intern in our office. Say hello to Liesl Harewood, a former volunteer in Ghana. Liesl was born in Guyana, but lives in Barbados and has been going to school in Canada. Here’s what she thinks of the YCI office so far:
My first experience with YCI was when I was actually a Youth Ambassador to Ghana. I had the distinction of being the first non-Canadian to be selected on the program and I was fortunate enough to get one of twenty scholarships that were available at the time in celebration of the organisation’s 20th anniversary. I cannot believe that was two years ago – yet YCI has still remained a great part of my life. There were seven of us out in Ghana at the time: 3 in Takoradi a t the YMCA Vocational Institute (where I was) and 4 in Koforidua and we have all managed to keep in touch with each other over the years. In fact 2012 has kind of been my YCI reunion year having met up in person with 2 of the other volunteers so far – one in Ottawa and one in Toronto. Now that I’ll be working at YCI for another 6 months, I am sure I will be able to see some of the others that are around.
But apart from my other volunteers and friends, it has actually been great to meet in person a lot of the YCI staff who I’ve grown familiar with via emails over the years: preparation for my volunteer experience in Ghana, online training, newsletter updates and then my interview for this role. The YCI staff has come alive!
So far it has been very hands on – with scheduled training sessions with different staff members about the various tools and programs linked to YCI. I know that without a doubt it’s going to be a busy 6 months and I will learn a lot not only from a development and NGO management perspective, but also from a Human Resources Management perspective, which will be useful as completing this internship will fulfill my co-op work term requirements and put me one step closer to obtaining my CHRP designation.
Our daily staff lunches together have been interesting and hilarious: a great way to get to know my new colleagues. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can, but also contributing to the programs. I can already feel myself thinking “that looks like an interesting program … maybe after this I could go work on … “ – yes, I can’t shake this YCI feeling!