Meet Naime Panichewa, our new Development & Partnerships Intern!
Tell us about yourself!
I am originally from Bangkok, Thailand, but I moved to a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area when I was 11. As someone who hates the cold, I knew I belonged on the West Coast. So, for college, I decided to move to Los Angeles and attend UCLA, pursuing a degree in Business Economics. I chose my major because economics was where the humanities and STEM disciplines intersected. I will be graduating in March of next year. In my free time, I love to read or try new restaurants, especially when I am in Bangkok!
Malaria is endemic to specific areas in Thailand, so I had a personal reason. Although malaria rates have decreased in the past decades, mosquito awareness is essential in Thailand due to other mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever. During our elementary school health classes, we discussed preventing mosquitoes in homes and periphery areas. The work that the United Nations Foundation does is incredibly inspiring. United to Beat Malaria was interesting because of its global impact and reach and because the mission aligned with my values and personal history.
Why are you United to Beat Malaria?
Malaria is a preventable and dangerous disease. The pervasiveness of Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and certain parts of Latin America highlights global inequalities in healthcare. Eradicating Malaria is a significant step to elevating marginalized people and allowing them opportunities to uplift their local communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown structural issues in global healthcare. Now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that all people, regardless of nationality, have equal access to quality healthcare.
What part of your internship with United to Beat Malaria are you looking forward to most?
I am excited to work closely with my team to build partnerships with corporations that value United to Beat Malaria’s work. Collaboration between the public and private sectors is crucial in furthering humanitarian efforts, and I have enjoyed playing a role in it, even a small one. I look forward to working with individual donors as well.
I have a strange talent for choosing melons at the grocery store. Whether it be watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe, I have an instinct that tells me which one to buy. When I was younger, my mom would let me choose fruits for our family. Of course, there is a method to it, but it doesn’t always work, and I have never failed to select the best ones.