Western Heads East

WHE’s Business Interns Continue to Seek Developments Despite the Pandemic

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Over the past 16 years, the Western Heads East (WHE) program has sent over 120 interns abroad to our partner organizations and helped to open more than 250 social enterprises serving over 160,000 people in East Africa.

Despite the current pandemic, WHE is still working closely with our Canadian and East African partners to move forward in program development.

With the help of three business and marketing interns, WHE is working hard to localize production and continue to empower our East African partners.

Moataz Sheta, a third-year student in the Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS), is currently exploring the feasibility of producing sachets containing freeze-dried probiotic yogurt bacterial strains (Lactobacillus Rhamnosus) in London, which will help to bring the product to the local market while also engaging local Western students in the project.  With the production of Fiti probiotic sachets, WHE aims to supply the demand of our East African partners as well, as sell the product locally. 

“Probiotics confer health benefits to humans by helping to treat and prevent infections. Probiotics are good bacteria that support the body in being healthy and functioning well,” said Moataz, who continues to look for feasible options to provide greater involvement for the Western and the London communities.

Another intern, Raja Singh, in the HBA program at Ivey Business School, is currently developing a business plan for our local partner, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU).

 “Western Heads East isn’t your typical social enterprise. We go the extra mile to ensure our impact is lasting by combining the pursuit for health and business development,” said Vibusan Shanthirasegaram, also one of the three interns.

Vibusan, in his last year at Ivey Business School, is working on building a business plan for Rwandan Mothers, a Rwandan Women’s Group to open Fiti Yogurt Kitchens with approval from the Rwanda Standards Bureau. In collaboration with the University of Rwanda, WHE seeks to support and guide Fiti Mamas, which is a local term of respect and affection for the women who operate probiotic yogurt kitchens in their communities, to be economically empowered through a sustainable business while providing a product that is healthy and delicious.

WHE is committed to continue building on current achievements by contributing to global health and sustainable development. The program is a model of social enterprise as vehicles for knowledge translation. WHE places interns with community partners for research and project implementation based on the organization’s needs.

Currently, WHE is accepting both remote and on-site internship applications for the summer of 2021. Join this great initiative by applying today! The application deadline for the upcoming season has been extended to March 26th. For more information, please visit Become an Intern.