Introducing Our 2012 IYIPs (Part 2)

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. Last week we introduced the first four and here are short bios on the remaining four. 

Elena Togias

Elena stepping carefully.

Hi my name is Elena! I grew up in Toronto and did most of my studies at U of T (an undergrad degree in Human Biology and French, and a Bachelor of Education for teaching Biology and French at the Intermediate/Senior level). I spent my third year at Université Laval in Quebec City and decided to go back there to do an M.A. in Linguistics and Language Teaching. If you suspect that I may have some teaching experience, you’re right! I’ve taught in Toronto, Quebec City (UL and Cégep), Trois-Pistoles, QC, Nice, France, and Hyderabad, India. I have many hours as a Teaching Assistant under my belt as well, and that’s given me some great teacher training experience – teaching future ESL and FSL teachers at the university level. I’ve also designed and facilitated a few pre-departure training sessions for AIESEC Laval. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but enough about me – let’s get to the business side of things. Here at The Umoja Centre, a small education NGO in Njiro (a suburb of Arusha, Tanzania), I’ve got many roles. Our main challenge right now (for both staff and students) is implementing and maintaining an English Immersion learning environment throughout the school. Since I have knowledge and experience in this very area, I am delivering workshops for the teachers to share various immersion teaching strategies and to encourage them in this difficult task. My workshops will extend to numerous other professional development topics for teachers, and I will soon be doing one-on-one mentoring. Oh, I almost forgot – I’m doing a little bit of teaching, too. Until the YCI Ambassadors get here, I’m covering the “Key Skills” class for the Intermediate students (we just finished reproduction and will be learning about diseases for the next month), as well as the “Spoken English” class for both Intermediates and Beginners. As you can see, my plate is full, but I love being busy. And, now that I’m settled, I can focus my efforts on learning to speak more fluent Swahili – it’s the only way to show everyone that I am not a tourist – mimi sio mtali!

Kendra Borutski

Kendra is not the one in the pink lipstick.

I’m Kendra! I was born and raised in Paris Ontario, and recently graduated from Niagara College’s Bachelor of Applied Business in International Business and Global Development. Through my studies at Niagara College, I had the incredible opportunity to assist in Women’s Economic Development in Fortaleza, Brazil in 2010. I was working alongside the Instituton Federal De Educaco, Ciencia E Technolgia and NGO EMAUS developing capacity building framework and gender empowerment workshops for the Mulheres Mil Project. Most recently, I worked for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a part of the Rural Economic Development Branch where I worked on Ontario Economic Stimulus projects, which help with the development of rural communities across Ontario. Through my studies I fell in love with all aspects of economic development and capacity building especially regarding international, rural and gender empowerment.  I am passionate, outgoing, adventurous and excited to represent Youth Challenge International as the new Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Officer in Guyana.

Sana Malik

Hey, what's that over there?!?!

I’m Sana and I’ll be spending the next seven months in Morogoro, Tanzania working as a Health Outreach Officer on HIV and Gender Based Violence education in schools with Faraja Trust Fund. Faraja is one of the oldest community-led and community-driven HIV/AIDS and Health NGOs in the region.  I’ll be working on integrating gender into more of Faraja’s programming and making links with other Sexual and Reproductive Health organisations in the area, focusing on creating a bigger network for youth outreach and education. Previously, I was at the International Planned Parenthood Federation in London working on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights advocacy and mobilization. I have an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an undergraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto. My interest to connect community-based responses to health challenges has led me to work in various health outreach capacities with marginalized communities in the UK, Lebanon and West Africa. In 2007, I participated in the WUSC International Research Seminar in Burkina Faso working on a HIV and Gender Project using popular theatre as an education tool and I`m looking forward to working once again on HIV and Gender issues through creative and innovative approaches in community health outreach and education. Although I miss my inner urban side, I’m loving being near the spectacular Uluguru mountains in Morogoro and having the chance to reconnect with nature. I’m hopeful that by the time I head home in November, I`ll not only have perfected my bartering skills in Swahili, but I’ll have some serious mountain-climbing and biking abilities across Morogoro’s muddy hills as well.

Mariah Griffin-Angus

Mariah getting her art on at the Louvre.

My name is Mariah Griffin-Angus and I am working for Uganda Youth Network as part of an internship program with Youth Challenge International. I will be in Kampala for seven months working on governance and human rights projects geared towards youth. My work focuses on the human rights issues in the Karamoja region in northern Uganda. I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2012 with a LLM in Human Rights Law (Bristol, UK). In 2006, I graduated with a Bachelors of Public Affairs and Policy Management, with a specialization in human rights from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). I have previous human rights research experience in Europe, Africa and with Canada’s indigenous communities. I have travelled to East Africa before but this will be my longest stay here. I am very excited to live in Kampala and to learn more about this country. In my spare time, I like baking and exploring.


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