Summer Intern Highlight: Giovanna Weinman

August 30, 2023

Giovanna is an intern from the University of California, SanDiego: School of Global Policy and Strategy who focuses on international human rights and development. She’s excited to work in international development and work towards the advancement of human rights and providing solutions to pressing issues. Giovanna intends to pursue law and practice civil rights and international human rights.

As a Summer Intern at International Relief Teams, one of our main research focuses was WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and building low-cost, low-tech sanitation facilities.  WASH refers to a set of interconnected public health initiatives and practices that aim to ensure access to clean water, proper sanitation facilities, and good hygiene practices. WASH initiatives are critical in both developed and developing countries. In many parts of the world, particularly in low-income communities and rural areas, lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation facilities remains a significant challenge. During my internship, we traveled to San Quintin, Baja California (MX) where International Relief Teams is working. This was a great opportunity to explore ways to improve public health, reduce the impact of disease, and enhance the overall quality of life. The highlight of my internship was building a handwashing station that we took to San Quintin. The plan is to build and roll out the distribution of these stations to many households in San Quintin. Their straightforward assembly is both low-tech and low-cost. But even once these stations are built, community members need to understand their importance and use them frequently. If community members aren’t incentivized to prioritize hygiene practices, the risk of water borne diseases and sanitation-related illnesses increases.

My co-intern Riley and I conducted thorough research to introduce facilities in San Quintin and designed a complete station, including a poster emphasizing the significance of handwashing.

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