Rohan Stritch is a first generation Canadian, born of Irish parents who emigrated from Dublin to a small gulf island on the West Coast of BC (Cortes Island). An international internship coordinator working in sub-Saharan Africa, Rohan recently completed her thesis research on the local perspectives and postcolonial implications of volunteer tourism in Uganda and India. After personal exploration of the role responsible tourism for development can play amidst the current inequitable global tourism structure, Rohan studied intercultural and international communication, and began working in development. As a youth advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and through her work for the Victoria-based international development agency VIDEA, Rohan is immersed in intercultural field work, research, and practical learning. Working in solidarity with VIDEA’s overseas partners, she is currently coordinating ten international Aboriginal youth internships. This pilot program involves First Nations youth from across Canada working with human rights and gender-based NGOs in Zambia and Uganda. In 2010, Rohan coordinated a VIDEA study tour to the Mpambo Afrikan Multiversity in Uganda. More recently Rohan and Paulo Wangoola arranged for VIDEA’s Aboriginal interns to attend a Mini Summit of the Afrikan Black Nation and the First Nations People of Turtle Island on Mulembe Mutinzi at the Source of the Nile. Integrating learning from this unique internship program, and qualitative results from her previous research, Rohan will present her findings at the Crossroads 2012 Conference in Paris this summer. Her areas of work and personal interest centre on bridging development challenges through interactive process, solidarity, and cross cultural exchange.
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