GRIP, Internships Abroad Interdisciplinary Work in Buenos Aires

July 22, 2021
By Wendy Lliguichuzhca, CAS '22

SAHDES - Buenos Aires, Argentina

One aspect of SAHDES’ work that initially drew me to this organization was its interdisciplinary approach to maternal and infant health. Through programs like MAMI and PotenciaMOS, they provide expecting mothers and women in different communities of Buenos Aires with resources and support through pregnancy, early childhood, and beyond. These projects, however, aren’t simply focused on physical health, but also on social determinants of health like economic stability and the built environment. Through PotenciaMOS, this organization provides women with opportunities to learn how to knit and earn money from their knitted products. It’s because of projects like these that I was excited to work with SAHDES and learn more about their approach to maternal and infant health.

Throughout these few weeks interning at SAHDES, I’ve gotten the opportunity to learn more about their interdisciplinary work and think about the social determinants of health as I navigate my own project. Initially, I’ve been compiling a list of organizations and government projects that relate to the topic of early childhood nutrition. Through this research, I’ve learned that many organizations and the Argentine government approach maternal and infant health through an interdisciplinary lens. Many of the NGOs I looked into have projects that include health education and work training to support economic development, in this way not solely addressing health habits but also how women’s social circumstances affect their child’s nutrition. Currently, I’m working on developing a project to support SAHDES’ early childhood nutrition projects. As I’m thinking through potential projects, I’ve been constantly reminded of the importance of interdisciplinary work. Since multiple variables affect a child’s nutrition, I’ve been working with my supervisor, Luciana, to learn more about the physical environment of the communities SAHDES works with. I’ve also been learning more about resources currently offered by the government and thinking of possible ways these could be utilized in a nutrition project.

Interning at SAHDES these last couple of weeks has given me the opportunity to see the importance of interdisciplinary work within the sphere of nutrition and public health at large. Since health is affected by a multitude of factors, addressing health concerns requires thinking through a variety of social, cultural, and environmental factors that one might not have previously considered. I’m grateful that thus far my time as SAHDES has given me the opportunity to think through these factors in relation to nutrition and obesity and I’m excited for what’s to come!

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The Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to intern or conduct research abroad for 8 to 12 weeks over the summer. Participants gain career-enhancing experience and global exposure that is essential in a global workforce.