In 2012, fifty-five Aboriginal interns began a four month journey working on international development projects in eleven countries around the world.We caught up with them once they had returned and this is what they had to say… In 2012, fifty-five Aboriginal interns began a four month journey working on international development projects in eleven countries around the world.We caught up with them once they had returned and this is what they had to say… International Aboriginal Youth Internships Funded by DFATD. Implemented by various partner organizations. Brendan: I started coordinating games like volleyball, soccer, badminton, and all that. And more and more, each day and each week went by, there was just more and more kids showing up. And they just loved playing this game, and then they just kept telling their families, their families would tell their friends, and sooner or later, we got 50 or so kids, all wanting to learn how to play these games that I started. Cody: I got to go down into, like, Hotakwai in Region 1, which is a Waro Indian community and share, like, our indigenous culture and songs up here from Canada and with them down there in Guyana. And to, like, collaborate and, like, put them together and see that, like: “Oh, we have an alligator song.” And then see the Waro turn around and be like: “Hey, we’ve got one too! We call it nyaravaka.” And then just, like, sharing them back and forth was really great. Sophie-Claude: I did some training in plastic arts, so I [inaudible] plastic arts workshops. I helped with homework. I gave classes in English and I also—I worked with pre-kindergarten kids doing stimulation activities. Tashayna: We went and spent four months in Zambia, Africa, and worked at an NGO—Justice for Widows and Orphans Project. And I worked as a youth outreach coordinator. Shaina: At that time, I compiled a child and youth database, and I got to pull together fundraisers for a teen vision conference, which pulled leaders in the rural areas and helped bring out give them a voice and helped show them that there is a bigger world outside the village and helped, in a sustainable way, teach them how to teach others to be leaders. Jonathan: So that’s my job, is to, you know, to document these traditional plans and traditional land-use areas, and also create protection plans for them. And I taught them how to do that and created a manual so they can do that for themselves. Impact of the internship experience. Ashley: This internship was—had given me the gift of empowerment. You know, I felt empowered by the work that I was doing, my self-esteem was empowered. My career: I now have internship experience in the international development field. So it has impacted me personally as well as professionally. Sophie-Claude: It’s really about having an international experience. For me, I think it will be good for my employability. I think I pushed my ability to adapt a little. I think I’ve also become more flexible; the fact that I lived there, and even lived with a host family, really adapting to a completely different pace of life. really adapting to a completely different pace of life. Alanna: I learned more about myself as well. And, like, how I react to things. Jonathan: This internship raised my awareness of international development greatly Brendan: I felt such a feat of accomplishment that I had done something good, and it’s going to impact that organization for—forever. Courtenay: We lived with five other interns, and we all were strangers at the beginning of our internship. And four months later, we’re a tight-knit family that lives across the country. Jonathan: The littlest things that we do can change the life of so many people. Erika: I would like to say how—thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to expand my horizons and to participate in international development.