A young woman who is standing up is speaking animatedly to a group of people around a table covered with colourful paper and notes.
April 28, 2023
Laila & Jessica driving inclusivity

Each participant of the Diaspora Youth Internship brings something special to the team. In the case of Laila and Jessica, their shared passion for inclusivity has been a theme of the last few months. On a trip to Brussels they shared their interests with the team to help make EUDiF as inclusive as possible.

During the course of an internship with EUDiF, we encourage interns to give feedback and propose improvements to our ways of working, as well as to explore topics of interest to them personally, professionally or academically.

Laila, who finishes her internship this month, is a keen advocate for gender equality and has brought this to her time with EUDiF in several ways, including her recent blog on the topic, Connecting the dots: gender and diaspora engagement. Meanwhile, amongst her many interests, Jessica has a keen eye for accessibility.

When Jessica and Laila came to visit the team in Brussels, it was the perfect opportunity to share these interests with a view to reflecting collectively on the project and identifying opportunities for improvement.

Jessica kicked off the week with a hands-on workshop on writing alt-text to make our website and visual materials more accessible. Then Laila wrapped up the visit with a focus-group on gender integration, guiding the team to come up with ideas to make design, implementation and monitoring of activities more gender sensitive. The focus-group discussion will also feed into Laila’s thesis which she is currently working on.

“I believe that creating an accessible and inclusive digital space should be a conscious choice and effort for how all development practitioners operate. I really enjoyed creating and delivering the workshop, particularly listening to the team practice writing alt-text.” Jessica Henrich

“The focus group discussion was part my data collection for my thesis and there couldn’t be a better way of analysing gender mainstreaming in diaspora engagement. Additionally, the exchange visit was the perfect closure of my internship where I made connections with EUDiF members and alumni group.” Laila Tasmia

At EUDiF, we believe that even when an internship ends its impact should live on both for the hosting organisation and those participating as interns. This is certainly the case for us, with each intern leaving a mark on the team and project.

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