This project is part of CIDA’s International Aboriginal Youth Internships (IAYI) initiative. The internships focus on increasing the awareness, engagement, and participation of Aboriginal youth in international development, while providing them with opportunities to expand their employment skills. CIDA provides up to $15,000 per internship to Canadian organizations that manage the internships and recruit interns. The IAYI initiative is part of CIDA’s Global Citizens Program that seeks to raise awareness, increase knowledge and provide opportunities for youth to participate in international development.
Results achieved as of the end of the project, August 2012, include: The ‘Rising Spirits’ project provided 10 Aboriginal youth with a four-month internship with three overseas development organizations in Nicaragua, Peru, and Tanzania. The interns worked in teams, lived in local host families and worked on partner projects with local youth. The interns’ work focused on: non-violence, gender equity, food security and nutrition, environmental awareness and education. Eighty percent of interns reported increased participation in international development projects and an ability to engage community members on international development issues as a result of their internship. Upon returning to Canada, the interns developed and implemented public engagement activities drawing from their experience. Interns reported 150 public engagement activities, averaging 20 per intern in 23 Canadian communities in four provinces. Following their internship, interns expressed increased employment skills in areas including: language learning, time management, communication, conflict resolution, team work, self-discipline, organizational skills, public speaking, computer and administration, networking and critical thinking.