September 30, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Five King’s students left for Uganda last week for six months as part of the Global Affairs International Youth Internship Program. Hannah Weisdorf, Amanda Wiilson, Meghan Potasse, Kendra Heney & Maddy Wilson are among 20 interns selected nation-wide for this year’s IYIP in Uganda. In total, 12 universities across Canada are involved in the Uganda program.  These opportunities have been made available through a partnership between King’s Social Justice and Peace Studies and Douglas College in British Columbia, and are funded by Global Affairs Canada.

The IYIP is designed to offer Canadian post-secondary graduates the opportunity to gain professional experience through international development work. The objective of the IYIP is to support sustainable international development initiatives proposed, in partnership with local partner organizations, by Canadian professional associations, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations.

International youth internships consist of a minimum six-month period spent in a developing country working on issues such as gender equality between women and men, the environment, health, (in this case, there is a particular emphasis on HIV/Aids education), literacy and agriculture.

Dr. Allyson Larkin, a professor in the Social Justice and Peace Studies program, is one of the directors for IYIP orientation. “The IYIP program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in a long-term overseas placement.  I know that many students in SJPS want to work overseas, but within the program, we are only able to offer short term international experiential learning.  The IYIP takes their learning a big step further into this field.  It is critical that students, who have an interest in working internationally in fields such as humanitarianism or development, get long term experiences so that they can really work through the complexities of working transnationally. Over the course of six months, not only do students really begin to form relationships with community members, and get a deeper understanding of the Ugandan social context, they also discover within themselves if they have the stamina and resilience to work long-term outside of Canada," she says.

This is the second year that King’s has participated in the IYIP program.  Last year three interns (Courtney Vaughn, Jenna Strathearn and Kristin Myers), were the first King’s students to work with this program.  They are now working as teaching assistants at King’s and are preparing to apply to different graduate programs in areas ranging from Indigenous Studies, to Public Policy and Political Science.