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Harper Government helps Canadian youth gain international development experience

March 13, 2013 - Young Canadians will gain international experience in developing countries, with support from the Harper Government. Today, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, announced the 24 successful organizations selected to deliver internships for Canadian youth.

"Our Government is proud to provide young Canadians with the opportunity to participate in international assistance projects in developing countries," said Minister Fantino. "Canadian youth foster a deep interest and concern for global issues, and this initiative enables them to gain hands-on work experience in Canada's international development, as well as to help them acquire important skills and knowledge for future employment opportunities."

Through the International Youth Internship Program, selected organizations will work with organizations in developing countries to provide youth (age 19-30) with international development experience, skills, and knowledge to help better prepare them for future employment, while advancing Canadian development objectives.

Since 2009, the International Youth Internship Program has enabled more than 1,600 interns to complete successful internships in developing countries.

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For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA


Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES) provides Canadian youth, aged 19 to 30, with tools and experience they need to launch successful careers. CIDA supports this program through its  International Youth Internship Program (IYIP). IYIP is managed as part of CIDA's Global Citizens Program, which aims to engage Canadians in international development.

The objectives are to:

  • provide eligible youth with international experience, skills and knowledge that will prepare them for future employment;
  • increase employment opportunities by promoting awareness among Canadian organizations of the advantages of integrating young Canadian professionals into their structures and programs;
  • provide opportunities for Canadians to increase their awareness of, deepen their understanding of, and engage in international development; and
  • contribute to the advancement of CIDA's mandate to reduce poverty and increase sustainable development.

This year, interns will be working in various countries, including: Antigua and Barbuda,BangladeshBelizeBoliviaBotswanaBurkina FasoCambodiaCameroonChileChina,ColombiaCosta RicaDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEthiopiaGabonGhana,GrenadaGuatemalaGuyanaHaitiHondurasIndiaIndonesiaJamaicaKenyaLaos,LesothoMadagascarMexicoMozambiqueNepalNicaraguaPanamaPeruPhilippines,RwandaSenegalSierra LeoneSouth AfricaSaint LuciaSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSurinameTanzaniaThailandUgandaUkraineVietnamZambia, andZimbabwe.

Following a call for proposals in 2011, 24 organizations (see list below) were selected to work with institutions and organizations in developing countries, to provide young Canadians with internship opportunities.

African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) Canada
The Africa-Canada Health Internship Program takes place in partnership with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) local offices. The main objective of the project is to support sustainable international health development projects in Africa, while providing Canadian graduates with valuable international development work experience, promoting personal and professional skill development.

Aide internationale à l'enfance (L'AMIE) (in French)
The objective of this project is to assist in the development of sustainable educational activities in cooperation with developing countries. This project, which focuses on basic education approaches and methods aimed at girls and boys, contributes to a key part of CIDA's mandate of reducing poverty. It also contributes to growing local administrative capacity, notably in the areas of project evaluation and governance.

Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC)
The interns will work in developing countries toward securing the future of children and youth, stimulating sustainable economic growth, and increasing food security. Through this experience, interns develop skills and experience that will assist them in securing employment as well as enabling them to make connections and develop relationships with many Canadian development practitioners.

Lawyers without Borders (LWBC)
The project aims to enable young Canadians to undertake six-month internships with partner organizations across the Americas, in the field of human rights. The project increases access to legal mechanisms for vulnerable populations and is designed to help the interns to acquire international experience as well as skills and knowledge to prepare them for employment in a global, knowledge-based economy.

Canadian Urban Institute (CUI)
Interns help in developing policy solutions linking disaster risk reduction to food security efforts with community livelihood and economic development in various municipalities. Interns will contribute to stimulating regional economic development through a national training program for civil servants, community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Centre de solidarité internationale de Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
(Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Centre for International Solidarity)
 (in French)
This project aims to assist communities, especially mothers, children,  and youth through women's groups and agricultural producers in the following areas: growing community gardens, improving nutrition, keeping children in school, providing care and assistance to orphans and vulnerable children, and raising awareness about health issues (HIV/AIDS, forced marriages, early pregnancies).

Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University
This project helps to support local partners in the strengthening and enhancement of markets and livelihoods, youth citizenship and entrepreneurship, sustainable agro-ecological farming or asset-based development. Local organizations will benefit from strengthened capacity and exposure to the interns' new ideas and creative energy.

College of New Caledonia
Internships with the College of New Caledonia aim to improve the lives of children and youth at risk by promoting international human rights standards, particularly, the rights of children and youth.

Comité de Solidarité / Trois-Rivières (in French)
This project supports community-based development activities to generate income in targeted communities. Projects will increase food security by strengthening cooperative farming projects, help to secure the future of children and youth by strengthening women's capacity to ensure the safety of their children and the nutritional health of their families, and stimulate sustainable economic growth by building the capacity of cooperatives and community-based organizations, training in management, accounting and organizational analysis.

CUSO International
This project will contribute to three thematic areas of work: Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, Active Citizenship (with a strong focus on economic development), and Natural Resource Management. These three themes reflect the priority needs of local partners. The interns will provide capacity-building support to local organizations, transferring skills and perspectives to local staff, and providing indirect support to the communities served by the development project. The internship capitalizes on the power of youth-to-youth interaction, enthusiasm and collaboration, providing Canadian interns with meaningful international work experience and a greater understanding of the complex development challenges in seven developing countries.

Développement International Desjardins (DID)
Internships with partner organizations contribute to improved access to financial services for disadvantaged people in the targeted countries, thus increasing food security and promoting sustainable economic growth within the beneficiary communities.

Foundation for International Training (FIT)
Internship assignments are designed to balance the interns' learning and career goals with the development objectives of the partners. This project addresses a critical priority to supporting economic growth that is both sustainable and equitable by improving the employment conditions of vulnerable workers.

Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Using a capacity-development model, interns contribute to the development, delivery and support of entrepreneurship training programs delivered by Humber's partners. These programs provide local partners' beneficiaries with entrepreneurship skills that increase opportunities for income generation and employment.

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)
Through HIV/AIDS care and support services, as well as awareness-raising activities in developing countries and Canada, interns enhance their understanding of international development issues, including gender equality and health promotion, while improving their employability. This project also supports and strengthens the capacity of HIV/AIDS organizations in developing countries. With the added assistance of interns, the organizations are able to improve their programming and activities.

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)
The project introduces Canadian interns to media development work overseas, while building their professional profiles at home through public awareness activities. This initiative increases interns' eligibility for employment in the areas of international development, media communications and post-secondary education in Canada and abroad. The project also helps local partners to build effective communications skills through media training and public speaking.

Pueblito Canada Inc.
This project helps to improve access to quality education, particularly for women and girls. The interns will provide transformative education skills and resources to local populations and will challenge basic attitudes about gender and education.

Samaritan's Purse Canada
The project aims to provide sustained clean water access through Biosand Filter implementation and to promote health and sanitation through integrated water, sanitation and hygiene programming. Interns will focus on supporting natural farming and sustainable agriculture as tools to increase food security and stimulate sustainable economic growth in rural communities.

Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Internships will focus on securing the future of children and youth and on increasing national food security in India.  Interns will assist the local partner in researching, collecting and compiling data and preparing reports.

United Nations Association in Canada
This project is aimed at providing local organizations with the skills, energy and capacity to deliver improved services. Interns will work with local partners to improve planning, monitoring and evaluation of existing development projects. Interns are exposed to unique job-searching information, critical global issues and activities, multicultural environments and substantive, challenging responsibilities. Internships support the needs expressed by the host community.

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) (in French)
This project supports initiatives that provide field experience in the management of different international development projects promoting good governance, health, increasing food security and private sector development. The interns gain concrete skills in the areas of needs assessment for training in medical biology/midwifery, in creation of entrepreneurship training, quality management and conservation of farm products, project management, international education, intercultural communication and gender equality.

The Governors of the University of Calgary
This project will strengthen the implementation of development activities, primarily in the area of children and youth. Internships will contribute to the development objectives of local partners through activities such as designing and improving monitoring and evaluation systems, developing education programs and training opportunities, and strengthening maternal, newborn and child health outcomes. Through these internships, interns become better informed global citizens, facilitating critical engagement with the public on international development issues such as food security, securing the future of children and youth, and sustainable economic growth.

Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA)
This project promotes more productive, prosperous, and sustainable livelihoods for marginalized women and men, and brighter and healthier futures for girls and boys in Africa. The project links local partners with Canadian stakeholders to facilitate access to fair trade markets for goods produced by local partners' clients and beneficiaries.

World Renew
This internship project seeks to provide four young Canadians with professional international development experience while they support local partner efforts to strengthen food security, youth, and gender equality programming. Interns gain first-hand experience working alongside staff and local partners in Africa and the Americas.

World Vision Canada 
This project aims at building capacity and expertise around sustainable economic development as it relates to microfinance and building female business development capacity and empowerment. The three main themes of this project are: securing the future for children and youth; increasing food security; and stimulating sustainable economic development. Activities include: co-facilitating participatory Child Protection Advocacy processes and support programs; assessing current monitoring tools and developing innovative monitoring and communication tools; assisting the food security team with developing initial participatory assessments in existing crop and livestock practices, land use issues, natural resource management, and opportunities for market-led income generating opportunities; identifying links with other social issues (migration and urbanization, education, health, rural development, etc.) and how they will influence the food crisis in the future; researching the integration of microfinance within long-term development work and its impact on the well-being of children; and exploring potential partnerships between entrepreneur/associations, marketing and financial institutions.