One of my co-workers for the summer

One of my co-workers for the summer

As a mother I am so passionate about children and their rights, when I was looking for a practicum, I was hopeful to be working with an organization whose mission is like mine. I believe that all children have the right to be safe and to access to basic needs especially water; this intersects with the UNICEF vision statement which is “to create a world where the rights of every child are realized.” My dream became true, and I was accepted to do my summer internship with the UNICEF where I am currently working with their Water and Sanitation team focusing on the Middle East which is the region where I came from. Since the beginning of the practicum, I was hoping that it will be in person, I miss meeting new friends and learning about their work experiences and networking. I feel being online makes it harder to open new conversations and its more challenging to deal with the online technical issues.  Despite those challenges I promised myself to make the best use of my time and to make my internship a fruitful one. Since the first day of the practicum, I set myself daily reminders which are:

  • Every day is a new day.
  • I will do the best of what I can.
  • I am always proud of my accomplishments
  • I will reach out and ask questions.

An opportunity to work with the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) team is unique. This practicum is a great opportunity for me to use the knowledge and skills I gained from the first two semesters of my graduate program to help communities around the world. Through my 200 hours training I will be working with the Country Engagement team at UNICEF to develop an engagement strategy so we can expand UNICEF’s work in the Middle East. I will also write a report about the role different UNICEF partners play in different region and how we can expand their work beyond water Sanitation and Hygiene to focus on other areas such as COVID-19. In the first two weeks of the practicum, I enjoyed attending SAWA’s teams’ meetings and webinars on important topics. I have also participated in discussions on how to engage more countries from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) in SWAs’ work. It was very interesting to learn about the great work those teams are doing all over the world. I am so hopeful that by the end of the internship I will gain more practical skills which I can apply in my future career.

– Alaa