Emilie, Conflict Studies and Human Rights, Forum of Federations, MENA Region
So far, my time with the Forum has been a very exciting and educational experience. I am fortunate enough to be spending time working with Headquarters in Ottawa, as well as with each individual program country of interest, those being Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The MENA program focuses on empowering women in leadership roles in the Middle East North Africa region, and aims to increase the capacity of women and girls to become involved in governance processes and influence policies. I’ve just started with our Jordan team so I am still getting settled in, but my time with HQ was mainly spent helping to prepare our reporting documents for the program funder. This included formatting associated documents, conducting additional research and preparing briefing notes, and helping with English-French translation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has of course presented a number of challenges for me just like it has for everyone else, but it has also allowed for some pretty incredible opportunities. Typically, from what I gather, interns do not usually have the opportunity to work with the Ottawa team because they spend the internship properly in the MENA region. Being able to work virtually allowed me to spend my first few weeks with HQ learning more about the regional aspects of the program, which was very interesting and gave me a better idea of what each country was doing before actually starting to work with them. It also provided me the opportunity to meet many people, and also allowed me to learn more about some of the Forum’s other programs and initiatives.
The Forum’s work focus’ primarily on gender equality, decentralization, and federalism, and as such I have learned a great deal about these topics in only a few weeks. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Forum so far, and while I am a little nervous to change teams every few weeks, I am very excited to continue to work with them and learn however I can.