Hi everyone! My name is Gabriele Praise Foerster, and I am a fourth year student in the International Development Studies programme with Anthropology as my minor, and Gender Studies as my focus. I recently had the privilege of completing a three month placement with WUSC in Lilongwe, Malawi. During this time, I worked as a Youth Inclusion Officer with MHub, an innovative technology company that focuses on social engagement and capacity building. In country, my portfolio focused primarily on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship for women and youth. I sat on the planning committee for the second round of the Growth Accelerator Project that ran in partnership with UNICEF and the UNDP. Alongside this, I worked with the previous cohort, monitoring and evaluating their respective ventures by conducting research in the field and collecting data. Finally, while in country I had the privilege of facilitating a mental health workshop for the office staff. Focused on increasing the capacity and mental well-being of women and youth participants in the workplace, local professionals were brought in to discuss relevant and context specific issues related to mental health and wellbeing.
The incredible lessons that I learned while living in Lilongwe, Malawi are unparalleled. I am incredibly grateful to the University of Toronto, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Programme, MHub, and WUSC for the opportunity to participate in this phenomenal internship.