YLIP interns take up their placements around the world

  • October 02, 2019

The 32 participants in the Young Lawyers International Program recently completed their extensive pre-departure preparations and are settling in at their postings. Between October 2019 and April 2020, interns will be working in 10 countries across Africa, South America, Europe and Asia: South Africa (14 interns in total), Namibia (2), Kenya (3), Madagascar (1), Serbia (2), Ukraine (2), Kyrgyzstan (1), Vietnam (2), Myanmar (2) and Guyana (3).

YLIP is funded by Global Affairs Canada and administered by the Canadian Bar Association. It facilitates opportunities for interns to gain effective skills and perspectives in the field of justice and development. The program also enables support for the work of overseas organizations in law reform, access to justice, and human rights.

The pre-departure preparations included the completion of 7 week online pre-departure course in critical thinking. Following a pilot project last year, 2019-2020 is the first time that the CBA is offering a dedicated online learning space to YLIP interns before, during, and after their internships using the Omprakash Education through Global Engagement (EdGE) online classroom. EdGE is the accredited model for ethical and educational global engagement. The EdGE manifesto states that:   

EdGE is a human-centered learning platform driven by the fundamental insight that the most radical thing we can do — the biggest ‘service’ we can perform — is to see the world through the eyes of others, and to disrupt dominant narratives by generating new ways of knowing.

The EdGE pre-departure course begins with providing a space for YLIP participants to: keep track of the logistical tasks required before departure; reflect on their own intentions and assumptions; and examine problematic trends in international volunteering and within the broader landscape of aid and ‘development’. In the classroom, they explore inequality from various angles before turning to the concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘community’. The pre-departure course ends on the topic of public engagement, exploring how interns’ international field positions could be used as a platform to tell a ‘polyvocal’ story.

This cohort of interns is also the first group to have access to monthly virtual meet-up groups facilitated by YLIP before, during, and after the internships. The peer-to-peer groups, dubbed “Tune-In Tuesdays”, are an innovative activity co-created by the YLIP Project Manager, Tiffany Butler, and peer support facilitator, Elaine Poulin. They are designed to provide a safe space for YLIP interns working globally to stay connected with each other despite the distances between them, to strengthen their network through regular meet-ups, and to facilitate a community of peer support.  Tune-In Tuesdays launched prior to departure in September and will continue through to the end of the placements.

CBA members are encouraged to get to know the 2019-20 interns by browsing their biographies via the YLIP Public Engagement showcase page. The first public engagement posts are expected to be published as early as mid-November. If you would like to invite a YLIP intern or alumnus to speak at your next local CBA event/meeting, or to submit an article for your next publication, please send your request to the YLIP Project Manager, Tiffany Butler, at tiffanyb@cba.org.