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Grad interns with Street Kids International


Bryce 1.jpg
June 7, 2011

Latin American studies and communications major heads for La Paz, Bolivia.

By Caitlyn Spencer

In 2006, Bryce Kapsha came to the University of Calgary determined
to finish with a BA in Economics four years later. Now, he offers new
students sage advice: “Expect everything to change.”

Kapsha was dissatisfied with his original plans until he found out
about the university’s study abroad opportunities. “It was $3000 for
tuition, flight, accommodation, and food,” Kapsha recalls. “How could I
pass that up?” Shortly after returning, he switched to a combined
communications and Latin American studies degree, and hasn’t looked
back since.

Now—after studying abroad in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador, and
vacationing in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay—the newly minted graduate
is one of eight interns chosen by Street Kids International (SKI) to
work with partner organizations around the world. His fellows will be
working everywhere from Sierra Leone to the Phillipines, but Kapsha
will spend the next eight months at the Centre for the Development of
Alternative Education (CDEA) in La Paz, Bolivia.

“I’m monitoring and evaluating how CDEA’s programs are going,”
Kapsha says. “What they do is train youth workers to train street kids
to set up their own businesses.” Kapsha will be using the IT and
facilitation skills he learned in communications to assist in CDEA
operations, and using social media to engage other communities in SKI’s
work. When he finishes his time in Bolivia, he’s expected to return to
Calgary and raise awareness about SKI.

Street Kids International is a Canadian non-profit agency. Founded
in 1988, and lauded by the UN, SKI enables partner organizations around
the world to help street children in their areas. They focus on
promoting street health, street work, and street rights. In Bolivia,
where indigenous communities make up a repressed majority and nearly
two-thirds of the population live in poverty, empowerment for the
disadvantaged is sorely
needed.

Kapsha gravitated toward internships in Latin America due to his
knowledge of Spanish and the passion for Latin American cultures he
developed in his travels. “I love learning about an area most people
only have a vague understanding of,” he says. “They think ‘Latino’ and
they think all of these countries are the same, when it’s so culturally
and ethnically diverse.”

You can follow Bryce on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/brycetheintern, or follow his blog updates at http://whatsupstreetkids.org/. He encourages questions and comments about Street Kids International and the work he’s doing at bryce@streetkids.org. The website for Street Kids International is http://www.streetkids.org.