Introducing our 2012 Team of IYIPs!

Our CIDA International Youth Interns (IYIPs) have recently deployed to their field placements. These 8 young Canadians will be working with YCI’s field partners for the next 7 months. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce the first four!

Devin Woods

This will be the photo on the dust cover of Devin's first published book.

My name is Devin Woods. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of Guelph in Political Science and a post-graduate program from Humber College in International Development Program Management (IPMP). Having volunteered and worked with a number of development organizations over the years I am very passionate about facilitating opportunities for people to learn and build skills. I will be working in Accra, Ghana as the Communications and Mobilization Officer with Youth Challenge International (YCI). My position will entail supporting YCI’s partner Youth Empowerment Synergy Ghana (YES Ghana). Specifically, this will be an opportunity for YES Ghana and I to share our different skills and build the success of their new programs surrounding Ghana’s 2012 election. Creating new media to communicate and engage with youth, this will be an exciting time for YES Ghana. As my first time travelling to Ghana I am thrilled that I will be able to take part in YES Ghana’s efforts and I am excited to take on all of the new challenges that I will face.

Clare Esler

Clare, though born in Oakville, is a Torontonian with a deep love of the city.

Hi! My name is Clare Esler and I am currently working as an Environment Project Officer at ANIDES (The Nicaraguan Association for Sustainable Development) in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, where I will be for the next seven months. Inherent in the design of all of ANIDES’ projects is sustainability; community members participate in hands on workshops and are shown step by step how to maintain the project themselves. I will be developing and implementing a variety of environmental projects including an organic agriculture scheme for families living in rural Matagalpa, a hygiene strategy, a dry toilet scheme and an environmental protection and awareness project. I grew up in Oakville, Ontario but currently reside permanently in Toronto, Ontario.  I have a Bachelors double major in French and International Development from Dalhousie University.  Two years following graduation, I completed a one-year post-graduate program in International Project Management from Humber College. Last year, I worked to develop an organic agriculture scheme as part of a six month internship in La Concepcion, Nicaragua for La Mariposa Eco-Hotel.  My passion is the environment and education, specifically in organic agriculture and promoting environmental awareness.  Outside of work I dance salsa, bachata, cook delicious vegan food and practice yoga!

Camaro West

Camaro was named after the classic car. That is why she is so cool.

My name is Camaro West and I am spending my IYIP working with the YMCA of Ghana as a Gender Advisor for the next seven months.  My role includes working with branches of the YMCA to implement a Gender Equality policy, designing specific gender equality programming targeted at men and women; and increasing the number of women and girls who benefit from YMCA programming.  I am so excited that my job will give me the opportunity to travel to different parts of Ghana and work with regional YMCAs, while experiencing the country’s diversity.  I am originally from the Island of St. Kitts, but have grown up in and around Toronto.  I recently completed my Master’s degree in International Development Studies and am particularly interested in development issues pertaining to women and girls.  I had the opportunity to visit The Gambia in 2009, so this is my second time in West Africa, but my first extended stay.  Ghana has been on my list of places to visit for a long time, and I’m excited to finally be here!  I’m looking forward to catching some football (soccer) games in the stadium and playing a little myself.

Ben Verboom

Ben: a contemplative fellow.

I am a graduate of the Physical Education and Health program at the University of Toronto, and will be working as a Health Policy Officer with the Zanzibar NGO Cluster for HIV/AIDS and Prevention (ZANGOC) in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Having lost my father to suicide when I was a teenager, I have worked for years in mental health stigma reduction, including founding the Cycle To Help awareness campaign and cycling over 8000km across Canada in 2009.  My passion for stigma reduction, combined with a long-held interest in public health and community development, took me to Namibia in 2010 to intern with local youth NGO Physically Active Youth, addressing youth development issues and HIV/AIDS using education and sport.   As Health Policy Officer, my primary role will be helping ZANGOC to craft an organizational HIV/AIDS policy, formally outlining the role that the ZANGOC, and its 45 member organizations across the archipelago, play in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Zanzibar. Drawing on input from ZANGOC’s staff and administration, and ZANGOC’s member organizations, the policy will serve as the guiding document for ZANGOC’s HIV/AIDS projects and will inform the development of a long-term action plan for ZANGOC and its members. In addition to HIV/AIDS policy project, I will also be assisting with capacity-building for ZANGOC’s members and community partners in the areas of HIV stigma reduction and gender equality.  I look forward to a meaningful and challenging intercultural, professional, and personal experience!


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