June 04


Rwanda – Why I am a PULSE volunteer – The journey begins….


As some of you may know, I will depart for Rwanda on June 14. Needless to say, I am excited. I am excited for the pure unfamiliarity of travel to Africa. Obviously, I have read up on Rwanda, but no amount of preparation will give me a complete handle on this new adventure I am embarking on. There is truly no other way to understand a place than to experience it yourself. Rwanda will be an unfamiliar but amazing experience for me, and I am eager to see how I will be positively changed by my experience.


The start of the PULSE journey…….

Last December, I heard Christie Murphy speak about her PULSE assignment in Ghana. Afterwards, I talked to her to get more details, length of time, living conditions, what she did and what were some of the challenges. I also spoke to Lourdes Arce about her PULSE assignment in Peru.  Both Christie and Lourdes were an inspiration and I want to thank them for all their help and guidance.

Over the holiday break, I searched the GSK PULSE website, found out how to apply and gave some thought about what I wanted to do with my life.  I have a strong desire to leave a positive lasting impact on the world.

I have seen firsthand the effects of polio from a family friend who was on an iron lung till her death 20 years later, to a teacher and cousin who both had to wear braces in order to walk.

June 22, 2015 I will work as a GMP volunteer by working with the division of the Ministry of Health for Rwanda in Kigali whose main function is to procure and distribute medicines, medical consumables and laboratory reagents.   They have a manufacturing site in Butare which we are going to scale up from two to four products.

Map of Rwanda and site's that Jennifer Payton will be working.

Map of Rwanda and site’s that Jennifer Payton will be working.

The PULSE assignment will challenge me by promoting personal growth and foster leadership potential.  I welcome the exciting opportunity to help build palpable, lasting changes in my own life and the lives of the people in Rwanda.  The diverse challenges will test me, enhance my adaptability and confidence that I can handle unforeseen obstacles that may come my way.   This experience will make me a better leader by tapping into my inner strengths and forcing me to become more creative, more assertive, and better at working with stress and unknown variables.

I have lived in a developing country, so I know firsthand the lack of reliable electricity, potable water, sanitation, medical facilities, and the comforts that are taken for granted in the United States.

My daughter, Kathrina who is fifteen, will be visiting me during her summer break.  She went through the process of getting her initial passport. Based on having to go to the post office three times to get the passport application right, she  has already learned  the importance for following the directions and being on time.