Somewhere a person is running to make it to the next terminal, rushing to hand in their ticket to the flight attendant, and breathing a sigh of relief as they settle into their seat with a few minutes to spare before departure. I, on the other hand, in a less chaotic atmosphere, leisurely walk into the kitchen, put the kettle on, and settle in at my desk within a few minutes of a Zoom call.
This summer I will be completing my practicum with Kenan Foundation Asia, an NGO headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. For over 25 years, Kenan Foundation Asia has been working to “inspire students, develop skilled people, and grow strong leaders” in Thailand and Vietnam in areas of economic development, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and social inclusion efforts. They’ve been able to establish multiple partnerships with a variety of organizations such as the Thailand Ministry of Science and Technology, the Thailand Ministry of Education, the Citi Foundation, Boeing, Facebook, USAID, and the US Department of State.
Throughout the duration of the practicum, I will be primarily working on the organization’s newly launched, “Smart Family Planning for Women” project in collaboration with Organon Ltd, and Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health. The project is focused on creating sustainable practices and inclusivity for quality births among women living in Thailand. The study will be engaging with factory workers and migrant workers from Myanmar and Laos in improving overall reproductive health outcomes and advocating for the needs of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services within these communities. As a result of this practicum, I will be developing a literature review regarding family planning and contraceptive technologies resulting in a white paper, and designing data collection strategies and instruments for the research team to utilize. As I work to strengthen my skills in study implementation and program development, I’m also looking forward to furthering my understanding of health inequities among underserved communities in Thailand and the process of establishing sustainable development practices in a global setting.
Despite completing my practicum remotely, I know the impact carries the same weight if I were to have been abroad (although, I am bummed about missing out on all the delicious food!). The next few weeks will be nothing short of an enriching experience.
Until next time!