IOCC, University of Florida Partner to Send Interns Abroad

Baltimore (March 27, 2003) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is expanding its Honors Intern Program through a partnership with the University of Florida.

The new agreement allows IOCC to place students from the university’s graduate and professional schools as interns in IOCC field offices overseas.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for IOCC to build on its internship program,” said IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou. “It enables us to reach out to more students and to train them for humanitarian service, which is an important part of our mission.”

IOCC becomes the sixth humanitarian organization to participate in the World Citizenship Program, a joint endeavor between the University of Florida International Center and the Coca-Cola Foundation.

The World Citizenship Program was established in 1999 with funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Through the program, University of Florida students are placed in overseas internships with partner organizations such as IOCC.

Other partner organizations include CARE, UNICEF and the American Red Cross.

Having IOCC as part of the World Citizenship Program brings “new opportunities and new countries,” said Dennis C. Jett, dean of the University of Florida International Center. “IOCC is active in Eastern Europe, and we haven’t sent people to that part of the world before. This (partnership) opens up a new dimension and new possibilities.”

Previous interns have been sent to developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin and Central America.

IOCC expects to receive three fully-funded interns who will serve three-month internships in IOCC country programs. The first, Marco Gemignani, a doctoral-level psychology major from the university’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will intern at the Orthodox Pastoral Counseling Center in Belgrade, Serbia.

The others, Beth Dawkins, a master’s level early childhood education major, and Kelli Moore, a doctoral candidate in political science, will intern at the Health and Socialization of Women in Rural Areas project in Tirana, Albania, operated by Diakonia Agapes (“Service of Love”), the relief and development arm of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania.

Both the counseling center and Diakonia Agapes are partners with IOCC in their respective countries. Specific projects are currently being designed for the internships, which will be served this summer.

“This offers students the ability to go out to developing countries to do work that needs to be done for the partner organization and to increase their international awareness,” said Anna Tietz, director of the World Citizenship Program. “IOCC has definitely brought to the table more of the Balkan states, which is a positive draw and allows us to reach out further.”

The IOCC-University of Florida internships are over and above the Honors Internships that IOCC already offers on an annual basis. One of those internships is scheduled to begin in August. Two additional internships are scheduled to be awarded later this year.

For more information about IOCC internships and programs, please visit www.iocc.org or call toll-free 1-877-803-4622.

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