YCI Volunteer in the News: Carley Robb-Jackson, 2012 OCIC Changemaker

Youth Challenge International is proud to announce our very own Carley Robb-Jackson has been named one of OCIC’s Global Changemakers for 2012. Here is the profile and video featured on OCIC’s website. Way to go Carley!

The beginning of 27-year-old Carley Robb-Jackson’s university career at Carleton University coincided with the beginning of her role in gender equality activism. Through the campus’s chapter of Amnesty International she participated in fundraising and awareness raising events, including the Women and Girls Refugee Campaign.

In 2008 her involvement with Youth Challenge International (YCI), a global development organization that promotes youth innovation to drive positive change, took her far from her native Port Perry, to Morogoro, Tanzania.

There she worked with the Faraja Trust Fund, a local organization that provides support services for individuals and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. She developed and taught life skills and health classes at the Kilakala Youth Center, and participated in a home-based care programme. She also authored a YCI blog on the state of women’s legal rights in Tanzania.

Of the experience, she says, “Seeing young women becoming increasingly aware of gender issues and women’s rights was an inspiration.”

In 2009 Carley completed her Master’s degree in Sociology and International Development at the University of Guelph, with her thesis exploring women’s participation in reconciliation processes in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and South Africa.

Since then she’s worked with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, first with the Women’s Rights and Citizenship Program, and currently with the Governance, Security and Justice Program. In 2010 her position allowed her to travel to Sierra Leone for the first time to do a research project on women’s legal rights and the country’s Gender Acts.

Carley has presented her research both within Canada, at Dalhousie University, and the University of Guelph, and internationally. Last year she spoke about Women’s Experiences of Conflict and Transition in Sierra Leone at the European Consortium of Political Research at the University of Iceland. And this year she heads back to Sierra Leone once again for five weeks to continue her IDRC research project, exploring women’s access to justice and the role of paralegal programs.

She looks forward to once again interacting with the women who inspire her: “In the developing countries that I have visited, it has been women involved in grassroots activism that have had the greatest impact on me. To witness their dedication and perseverance inspires me in my gender equality work.”

In Ottawa, the city she now calls home, Carley has worked as volunteer with the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women since April 2011. She also participates as a volunteer in the Court Watch Program, gathering data to better understand the barriers Canadian women face in accessing justice.

Carley receiving her award from OCIC Executive Director Kimberly Gibbons

Read what Carley had to say about her experience with YCI in her blog entry from 2010: Carley Robb Relects. To see what other Alumni are up to, check out the Alumni section of our blog. 


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