Dalhousie’s Braden Kingdon is excited and anxious to begin a 3 month global health internship in Tanzania working with Pastoral Activities and Services for People with AIDS Dar es Salaam Archdiocese (PASADA). Braden will be taking on the role of Project Assistant, Prevention with Positive Clubs. This internship is part of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships which were created to
Provide students with transformative international study and research experiences, Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
This program is intended to provide opportunities for young Canadians to study abroad as well as bring international students to Canadian campuses. It is hoped that this new initiative will lay the foundation for the next generation of entrepreneurs, public servants, community leaders and academics with innovative minds and a sense of commitment to Canada and the Commonwealth.
Braden will be based in Dar es Salaam (Dar) which is Tanzania’s largest and richest city and the largest city in eastern Africa with a population of over 4 million residents. This important city is the Tanzanian hub for both business and government activity and sits on a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean. PASADA is a social service agency in Dar that provides and maintains quality, caring and compassionate services and support to people affected by HIV/AIDS in the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam. PASADA offers a variety of programs and services, with particular attention and focus on providing services to the poorest and neediest, through a holistic approach and with special emphasis on the values of justice and solidarity.
Why don’t we let Braden say a few words about his upcoming adventure.
On Friday May 22, 2015 I will be departing for Tanzania, a country on the east coast of the African continent as a participant in the QEII Scholarship Program. The Global Health Office and Dr. Karen Gallant of the Recreation department have been generously preparing me for my trip.
I am a senior Recreation Management student, receiving a BSc and a BM upon completion. This opportunity aligns with the breadth of classes that are covered in my degrees. Specifically though, I will be focusing on reflecting on this trip through a community development lens, under the guidance of Dr. Karen Gallant. The material in this course thus far has provided me with insight into citizenship power and participation, valuing the local, gentrification, etc. These concepts have helped prepare me to enter a new culture and trying to learn, adapt, and never assume or judge the values or beliefs within each various community existing in Dar Es Salaam. Although it is difficult to say I am going to go there without a Western attitude, I am going to be consciously taking every moment as a learning tool and reflecting on it afterwards.
Once in Tanzania I will be working as a Program Assistant under the Medical Director at Pastoral Activities and Services for People with AIDs Dar Es Salaam Archdiocese (PASADA). The organization provides many services related HIV/AIDs in Dar Es Salaam, I will be joining a project focused on creating awareness and decreasing stigmas within the youth population in Tanzania. My experience working with children in Ontario and Nova Scotia will hopefully prove me to be some sort of asset while I am there. With a minor background in research it would be nice to help out in any research projects that they are taking on as well. It is difficult to speak to the exact work I will be doing at this stage though, for now I am going in with a mindset of gaining a cultural and clinical experience.
That’s it for now. I will be periodically blogging while I am away, feel free to follow me through this experience as it is bound to be one for the books!
Upon completion Braden will be named a “Queen Elizabeth Scholar” and be part of the 34 Canadian Universities involved in this project. Watch for future posts from Braden as they are made available to us.The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships Program is a partnership between Universities Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and Rideau Hall Foundation. This program is made possible with financial support from the Government of Canada, provincial governments and the private sector.