September 05

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So, what exactly am I doing here…

My first post concerned my first impression of the country…after 3,5 week I could easily write a book about Argentina, its culture and people. But that’s not what’s in the heart of my stay here.

Many of my friends and colleagues are asking for sure- what exactly am I doing and what kind of voluntary is that. It has nothing to do with Orange Day, but the idea of supporting affected communities/organizations. I am appointed to the organization called Mundo Sano – which in English would be “A healthy world”. Cooperating with NGO is my daily piece of bread, but the opportunity to walk in my daily business partner shoes, is something I really appreciate, as it gives me opportunity to gain perspective. What is more, I work as a Communication Consultant, setting a communication strategy for international project. So in addition it brings me also a lot of professional satisfaction and a professional challenge.

The project that I’m working on is called Desafio- which actually means “Challenge”. How meaningful that is! So shortly about the project and its genesis. On 30 January 2012, at the Royal College of Physicians, London and by initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (FB&MG), an agreement between government representatives, the World Health Organization (WHO), international credit institutions, civil society organizations (OSCs) and major international pharmaceutical companies (amongst them GSK) was signed in order to achieve by the year 2020, key advances in the fight against ten of the seventeen unattended diseases contemplated in the route map proposed by the WHO. Mundo Sano, the organization that I’m working in, was the only civil society organization (OSC) from Latin America (LA) that undersigned the agreement.

Within that framework, Mundo Sano is carrying out research prevention and assistance, including diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease and soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), in both endemic and non-endemic urban and rural areas under the project “Desafio”. In coming years, interventions will take place in Argentina and later in other counties of Americas and other regions.

I must admit, that what I truly appreciate about the project and organization, is achieving measurable, tangible results. I didn’t have yet a chance to go to the affected zone, but from what I’ve heard and seen in the materials-it’s really making a huge DIFFERENCE for many people in the Argentina, it’s actually working in order to save people’s lives. It’s motivating, that a non-commercial organization is making such an effort to measure the effects of its work (which are impressing).

So my task is to set a communication strategy for that and starting implementing it. I’m not 100% fluent in Spanish- but I try to do my best. Luckily I could have written the document in English, but almost all conversation/interviews that I needed to run to understand the environment and the real organization needs, I did in Spanish. I don’t what the people have understood when having conversation with me (I have various level of acceptance language mistake by myself when running a conversation about the weather and different, when I talk with somebody about business), but on Monday I have presented up-to-date results of my work, and it was warmly accepted by my NGO’s boss. Huge relief and extra power to continue to work!

TBC….