Here in the YCI Toronto office, we are heading into the fifth day of pre-departure training with YCI’s most recent batch of CIDA funded IYIP interns and I am looking forward to the next two days of training! This fantastic group of women was chosen from over 250 applicants to participate in 7 – 9 month placements in Latin America and Africa. They are a diverse and talented bunch and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them in person. Here’s a brief introduction, but don’t fret if you’re interested to learn more about what they will be doing… they’ll be blogging a lot this year.
– Lauren Chender, Program Manager, Youth Challenge International
Amanda Armstrong – Women’s Entrepreneurship Officer, Guyana
I am from Toronto, Ontario and graduated from The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario specializing in entrepreneurship. I worked in Kenya from June to August in both 2009 and 2010 with Western Heads East assisting women with the start up of probiotic yogurt businesses. I am passionate about social entrepreneurship and international development and I’m very excited to work in Guyana for 9 months with YCI and Youth Challenge Guyana!
Lisa D’Alimonte – Governance Officer, Tanzania
My name is Lisa D’Alimonte and I am a recent grad from a Post Graduate Certificate Program in International Project Management at Humber College. From October to December 2010 I was able to put my skills to use during a YCI volunteer field placement in Ghana, where I worked in partnership with the YMCA of Ghana and designed and implemented workshops focusing on the Millennium Development Goals and how youth can take a leadership role in achieving these goals at the community level. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement in Ghana and I look forward to continuing my work with YCI in Tanzania and further developing my personal and professional skills in the field of international development.
Linden Deathe – Gender Advisor, Ghana
My first trip to Africa took me to Victoria falls and Great Zim for my sister’s wedding and I fell in love with travelling and Zimbabwe. My second trip to Africa introduced me to international development (my future career field) and I fell in love with Kenya. Ten years later I return to Africa, this time to Ghana and I am ready to fall in love again.
Between Kenya and Ghana, I did my undergraduate at the University of Toronto and a post-graduate at Humber in International Project Management. I lived in Tokyo, Delhi, and Paris and I have travelled through Asia several times. I love hiking and scuba diving and have had the opportunity to do these activities in some amazing places. I am passionate about equality, gender relationships, and how empowerment manifests itself across cultures, communities and individuals.
Larissa Duma – Environmental Sustainability Project Officer, Tanzania
Hello Everyone! My name is Larissa Duma and I am extremely excited to depart to Morogoro, Tanzania, in a few days with Youth Challenge International! I was born and raised on a farm in northern Alberta whereby my active participation on the farm and in a forestry youth program fostered my passion for environmental education and sustainability. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences with a focus in Biology, as well as minors in Environmental Education and Dialogue and a Cooperative Education degree from Simon Fraser University. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to combine my passions and past experiences in this dynamic position while learning the local language, customs, and traditions of my placement region.
Sabrina Mullan – Health Promotion Officer, Tanzania
My name is Sabrina and I am originally from Caledonia, Ontario. I completed my Undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s of Science in Global Health at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. My internship with YCI will take me back to Tanzania where I previously spent one and a half years working on community health projects, which mainly focused on communicable diseases and sexual health. I’m extremely excited to return to Tanzania and to have the opportunity to once again work on projects surrounding sexual health issues, especially those facing Tanzanian youth
Julia Rao– Curriculum Development Officer, Guatemala
My name is Julia Rao and I am a recent graduate of the collaborative program Comparative, International and Development Education program at OISE/University of Toronto. I have been fortunately given the opportunity to work with YCI and their partners in Guatemala. This will be my third time returning to do development work in Guatemala, which has come to be one of my favourite countries in the world. I am eager to get back into the field and collaborate with the local organization Groupes de Mujeres Ixchel, which is a women’s rights group that works to protect, defend and promote the rights of young women in Guatemala.
Jamie Van Egmond – Environment and Youth Project Officer, Uganda
Hi, my name is Jamie Van Egmond, I’m 25 years old. I grew up in Whitby Ontario, moved to Vancouver to study at UBC for 2 years before having the opportunity of living in Australia for the last 5 years. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Development at Murdoch University in Western Australia. I have experience working in the environmental sector in Australia and in running my own ethical retail business. I am very passionate about the environment and international development, and am very excited about my internship position in Kampala, with the Uganda Youth Network.