Students Without Borders is a WUSC and CECI program that enables Canadian university and college students to participate in exciting, volunteer learning opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Hola a todos! Estoy empacando mi maleta para el Perú!

January 18, 2010

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I am so very excited to be going to Lima, Peru to intern as the Assistant to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) Project Coordinator with the Canadian Cooperation Services Support Unit (CCSSU).  I will be supporting the implementation of the CFLI, which provides funding to assist grass-roots organizations and community groups carry out local development projects.

This opportunity will be unlike any of my recent travels, professional experience, or academic experience on their own – it is a chance for me to integrate the learning opportunities offered by all three. This position is especially important to me because I wish to gain experience in Monitoring and Evaluation, and this assignment focus heavily in this area.

I am a recent graduate from the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary where I researched participatory development and education from the perspectives of project participants.  I became intimately familiar and impressed by the research and work of South American scholars and practitioners in the field of participatory and grassroots development. I also came to know a great deal about the philosophies, policies, and good work of our Canadian International Development Agency. I have a basic understanding of what locally led and initiated development means and I am thrilled for the opportunity to learn more. This is also my chance to give back by volunteering the skills and knowledge I have been privileged to acquire over the last few years.

Originally from Nova Scotia, I have lived throughout Canada and travelled extensively, including in Ecuador, where I acquired some Spanish, and in Korea, where I taught ESL in Seoul. Nothing thrills me more than being outside of my comfort zone and seeing the world, my place in it, and how we do things, in a very different light. For now, a lot of my education on life in Peru consists of descriptions from my Peruvian soccer teammate here in Calgary, my sister’s recent travels there, and information from the library and internet. I am sure that there are many surprises waiting for me!

Many thanks to WUSC and CCSSU for this special opportunity! I am looking forward to working with and learning from my colleagues in Lima. Hasta pronto!