Last week after completing training for Community Health Volunteers and Committee members at Akatenchie, one of the STAR CHPS villages, I had a remarkable ORANGE DAY experience which to me was the most fulfilling part of the day. If everything works right, I believe I may have prepared the PULSE volunteers of the next two decades, hoping every luck under the sun works out too.
I called three kids who were roaming about the street of the village to talk to them about the importance of school and education. I had no idea what I was getting into. By the time I finished, the crowd had grown to over 40 children and 14 adults. I was scared. Really terrified about someone getting hurt.
I talked to them about why they need to love school and stay in school. I assured them of the possibility of any of them becoming the president, a teacher, a scientist or the next PULSE volunteer to come and help their own community in the future. The grins on their faces were beautiful. They listened attentively. It was heartening to see how they loved to hear that they could become anything in life, even GSK employees and PULSE volunteers in the future.
I had some gifts (pencils, crayons, books, balls, games etc) in the trunk of our SUV. Because I had not planned for such a large crowd, I did not have something for everybody. I therefore gave a quiz and the kids who got the answers right got gifts first and a few more got something by chance. It was chaos.
I said some of these children could be PULSE volunteers in the two decades but only if everything works right, because needless to say, they have hurdles to go over. These were not clinical patients, of course, but they needed the GSK SPIRIT doing more, feeling better about themselves and the future and be living longer, which I am sure I imparted onto them.
It was remarkably exciting manner to end a truly tiring week. The health training we had offered to the volunteers and committee members earlier in the day was the reason for the visit but this was the real PULSE for me for that day.
This is just one of the many things GSK employees are doing to bring sustainable change and hope around the world.