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. World Vision Canada provides five interns with an opportunity to work in Bangladesh, Laos and Malawi over the course of one year. The interns work in the areas of securing the futures of children and youth, child protection and advocacy, and food security focusing on health and nutrition. They contribute to the Child Protection and Health and Nutrition Projects in Bangladesh. In Laos they support the development of the Education Technical Approach and Advocacy Community Engagement. In Malawi the intern supports other nutrition projects.
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 2016) include: (1) five women have been recruited and sent abroad for a 7-months internship in the following sectors: child protection, communication, education and nutrition. Prior to departure, interns have received training on multiple operational aspects, including staff care and stress management, intercultural effectiveness and public engagement and peer learning; (2) interns have accomplished many activities while in the field to support local organizations working closely with World Vision, including the development of a national ‘Incident Reporting Plan’ for reporting abuse against children; a gender analysis of factors influencing project activities and development of a gender strategy to ensure gender considerations are being taken into account; and participation in community health systems mapping exercise to identify gaps in integrating project activities within the formal health system; (3) two local partners (100%) reported that the interns made a significant impact on their development efforts; (4) upon their return to Canada, five interns participated in debrief and re-integration sessions. These sessions included personal and professional reflections to discuss the successes and challenges of their deployment; an “After the Internship” session to discuss the cultural and social challenges and expectations upon returning to Canada; and time with World Vision Canada’s People & Culture team to provide support for the interns’ subsequent employment search; (5) five interns completed between one and three public engagement activities upon their return to Canada, for a total of eight activities. The presentations were to diverse groups – university clubs, schools, youth groups, church groups, and World Vision Canada supporter groups amongst others; and (6) at the end of their internship, all five interns reported an increased level of confidence in their ability to secure employment post- internship and four interns are actively seeking employment opportunities in the international development field in Canada and/or overseas.