Coady Institute Says ‘Welcome Back’ to Youth Associates

On stage at the Antigonish Youth Forum
They worked to prevent HIV/AIDS in Botswana, grow sustainable crops in the Caribbean and promote human rights in Rwanda, but this year’s cohort of Coady Youth Associates is back in the land of hockey, Timbits and below–zero temperatures.

These articulate young Canadians impressed a sizeable turnout at Dennis Hall on March 9, 2011. They shared stories, pictures and a self-produced video with family, StFX students and the public. Several students about to graduate said the presentations convinced them to apply for the fall program. Then, on March 10, they headed to Halifax to present to a class of 90 International Development students at Dalhousie University.

Each year, interns spend six-months overseas with a Coady partner organization in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. The program is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

“It was a solid experience,” said Sadaf Kashfi. The McGill University graduate worked with the Eastern Caribbean Trading Agricultural Development Organization and the Caribbean Farmers’ Network. “The biggest thing I learned was the need for people to show patience and empathy when they meet others from a different culture, which was certainly the case when I showed up in remote farm regions.”

James Bray, a StFX alumni and Rhodes Scholar, says the Youth in Partnership (YIP) program is a wonderful introduction to the Coady family. “It’s also a chance to add a really practical dimension to a quality university education,” said Bray. He plans to spend some time working on his parents’ farm near Antigonish before leaving in the fall to begin studies at Oxford University.

Gord Cunningham, interim director, said the 2010-11 interns did an outstanding job working with Coady’s overseas partners. “Not only was this a great learning experience for them as individuals, but it helped to solidify our relationships with development organizations doing great work in their own communities.”

StFX students graduating this spring can apply now for the Youth in Partnership program. For more information and to watch video testimonials, check out the Coady Youth section. Photos of the 2011 Youth Forum can be seen on our Flickr photostream.