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News and Resources

Canadian Young Professionals Build Skills with Rooftops Canada’s Overseas Partners

News and Resources

Rooftops Canada’s young professional internship program provides valuable support to our overseas partners. It also provides Canadians with highly sought after experience that increases their job prospects at home and abroad. Since 1997, we have placed over 130 interns on six-month internships in Africa, Asia, and South America. Support for this program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency. Interns have worked in areas such as gender and land rights, HIV and AIDS, low-cost green building, housing microfinance, and global and regional networking. This year, 16 interns will be placed in seven countries. Departures have begun! We can’t wait to report on their accomplishments!

Through this program, interns grow professionally and personally. Former intern, Emmanuelle Paris-Cohen (India, 2010-11) says: “I was given enough leeway to take on responsibilities which I may not have had at this level in other organizations. I am much more confident today in my professional future than I was before I left.” Shelley Buckingham, who has continued her work with the HIC General Secretariat in Chile since her internship in 2008-09 has said “I value the skills and knowledge I have gained through organizing an event at an international forum and writing grant proposals.” Raees Ahmed, former intern, (South Africa, 2010-11) shares: “I have gained valuable knowledge about the social housing industry in South Africa, and I have seen the impact of good management, leadership, passion and energy in bringing forward positive changes in a society.”  
The internships also help build collaboration, capacity and sustainability in our partner organizations. The Kuyasa Fund in South Africa has hosted 10 interns since 2004, Elizabeth Alves said, “We see tremendous value from this program. The high calibre of the interns recruited has been an invaluable part of the technical assistance provided by Rooftops Canada to Kuyasa” HIC HLRN in Egypt has hosted five interns since 2001. They appreciate that “Rooftops Canada interns have left a legacy and actual products behind them. They have contributed to developing tools for the wider HIC network and its member organizations.”
Returning interns have given many presentations about their experiences to social/non-profit and cooperatives housing groups across Canada. These presentations help engage Canadians and deepen the Canadian housing sector’s understanding of international development issues.
If you would like a returned intern to speak in your community, please contact thandi@rooftops.ca