Before I left Kenya for Turkey to attend the Pulse Orientation training, I had a lot of questions in my mind and would like share two of them and hope to answer some of yours too.
Why does GSK pay for its employees to go out in the world as volunteers and what does it gain from it?
Am I really ready and equipped for this journey ahead of me towards changing the world?
Before answering them, let me share with you of our journey from Nairobi to Istanbul in a flash.
Quick forward to our (Stephen Githinji and I ) boarding the flight from Nairobi and landing in this beautiful City, with beautiful scenery, good road systems, latest car models and shuttle buses in the middle lanes roaming in an organized manner. I started wishing for the same back in my beloved Nairobi but it was just wishful thinking because our current addiction to corruption hinders any progress.
My attention was disrupted by some street children trying to run away from the police, only for me to realize that they are not actually street children but Syrian refugees currently facing war back in their home. In the back of my mind I recall seeing a “world humanitarian Summit” booth at the airport and things started connecting.
It was the first international event organized to address the biggest issue the world is facing. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, Kenya’s deputy president Ruto, international NGOs, International Donors & foundations, celebrities, multi international companies were all in attendance and here I was going to PULSE, a largely unknown program to many in the world that were already doing the same and I thought, what a coincidence?
Back to answering my first question ”Why does GSK pay for its employees to go out in the world as volunteers and what does it gain from it?” Our training started with a video from Andrew Witty in which he shared his passion and commitment to the PULSE volunteering program. There I got to learn that GSK has been committing 20% of its profits by giving it back to the communities through various programs such as pulse.
Pulse Volunteering partnership has a three folding mission: Change Communities, Change Employees and Change GSK and I am now getting to understand more of it.
Onto my other question ”Am I ready and well equipped for this journey?” I’ll be working with the ”Save the Children” organization in Nepal,which is approximately 6094 km/3787 miles away from Nairobi, as a supply chain advisor for the next 6 months. Its one of GSK’s highly strategic, high profile assignments. GSK and Save the Children have a 5 year partnership that aims to save one million children’s lives.
I first started by believing in myself and I did apply for it, my line manager believed in me and supported my application, and then the pulse team believed and saw I can add significant value and serve as a strong GSK ambassador.
And now my question to you is, do you believe?
Join me in my subsequent posts for I plan to share with you the adventurous moments in Istanbul, of making friends with strangers from 10 Nationalities, to having original hibiscus tea from Sudan with Claire Hitchcock (the godmother of PULSE).