This project is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), funded by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES). The IYIP contributes to the YES by providing a large spectrum of Canadian graduates with valuable international development work experience abroad, needed to launch successful careers. Solidarity Union Cooperation’s (SUCO) initiative provides 30 interns with the opportunity to work in four countries: Senegal, Peru, Honduras and Nicaragua. Interns work directly with 18 local partners through market gardening, marketing, education, business management, nutrition, rural entrepreneurship, social marketing, and organizational development activities.
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: (1) increased access by Canadian interns (young men and women) to Canadian labour market opportunities, including in the field of international development; and (2) increased engagement of Canadian interns (young men and women) as global citizens in supporting international development in Canada and abroad.
Results achieved as of the end of the project (March 2017) include: (1) 30 interns (25 female and 5 male) were recruited and sent abroad for a six-month placement to support SUCO’s local partners through activities in the areas of agricultural production, marketing, knowledge management, economic development, business management, communications, nutrition, rural entrepreneurship, social marketing and organizational development. The interns all received pre departure training, which focused on such things as international cooperation, health and safety, capacity building, and educating the public; (2) the interns carried out various activities to support SUCO’s local partners, including conducting a market study on cheese in four districts of the Ancash region (Peru), delivering training and workshops to develop the marketing abilities and knowledge of farmers, both men and women, in Santa Eulalia and Pachacamac (Peru), and providing training on food and meal preparation in Nicaragua; (3) all of the local partners stated that they had benefited from the interns’ field of expertise; (4) upon their return to Canada, 30 interns took reintegration training, which covered such things as the shock of returning home and readapting, personal and professional learning, career development, and finding a job; (5) outreach activities were conducted by 28 interns (24 female and 4 male) to encourage Canadians to get involved, including publishing articles, testimonials, success stories and photos on SUCO’s website and social networks; and (6) at the end of their placement, 27 interns (22 female and 5 male) indicated that they were more confident in their ability to find employment after the placement. 22 interns (17 female and 5 male) found a job in their field of studies, including 13 (11 female and 2 male) in international development.