Join The Safety Net

Join The Safety Net

Start a Fundraiser

Get Started

Raise Your Voice

Get Started

Ways to Give

Learn More
Take Action

Post Author Post Author
By: Shaun Karakkattu,  United to Beat Malaria

Meet Our Interns: Shaun Karakkattu, Communications Intern

September 26, 2023

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Shaun Karakkattu, and I am a Cornelius Vanderbilt scholar at Vanderbilt University. I was born in Dubai, UAE, and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. I love to travel and have been to over 20 countries. I am an economics and history major. As someone interested in behavioral economics, I am curious about how decision-making works, essentially thinking about why people do the things they do. I am hoping to pursue a career in international development. In my free time, I love to go on bike rides around Nashville, TN, and spend time with my family.

What drew you to United to Beat Malaria and the UN Foundation?

I have always been interested in the work of the UN Foundation, and through the UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit and Leadership Summit, I had the chance to learn a lot more about the work of the United to Beat Malaria campaign. Freshman year of college, I took a course titled “Poverty, Economy, and Society in Sub-Saharan Africa,” which deepened my fascination with the intersection of international development and health-based policies. It was during this time that I became particularly drawn to the United to Beat Malaria campaign. The campaign’s mission aligns perfectly with my passion for creating positive global change, and I’m excited to contribute my skills to this important cause during my internship.  

Why are you United to Beat Malaria?

I am United to Beat Malaria because I believe that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, and malaria disproportionately affects vulnerable populations in many parts of the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, yet it continues to claim far too many lives, particularly among children and pregnant women. The United to Beat Malaria campaign represents a collective effort to combat this deadly disease through advocacy, awareness, and the mobilization of resources. I think the intersections with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are particularly interesting. I am committed to thinking about the intersection of malaria with climate, inequality, and education. By being United to Beat Malaria, I am committed to contributing my skills and efforts to support initiatives that aim to eliminate malaria, reduce suffering, and improve the overall well-being of communities affected by this preventable disease.

What part of your internship with United to Beat Malaria are you looking forward to most?

I’m excited about the learning experience this internship will provide. Malaria is a multifaceted global health issue, and I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in addressing it. Additionally, I want to connect with people who are fighting for similar causes and educate people through informative social media channels. I hope to contribute to the research on the relationship between malaria and climate and use this information to provide policy insights.

What is a fun fact our champions may not know about you?

My family is from the south Indian state of Kerala and one of my favorite holidays is Onam. There are beautiful dances, rich vegetarian food served on banana leaves, and happy kids running around. It’s simply one of my favorite times of the year and it commemorates the rice harvest in Kerala. 

Join Our Network

Sign up now to stay up to date on progress made in the fight to beat malaria.