In the past two months, the questions I have been asked most frequently in every gathering were “why do you go to Africa?” “What are you going to do there? ” “Did you quit your job? ” “What kind of work you can do in Africa? ”. A lot of puzzles in my friends’ and even coworkers’ minds. Though I have answered to these questions many times, I guess there must be some people don’t have a clear idea about what I will do in the next 6 months. So my first blog is to solve the puzzles for people who I haven’t had a chance to talk to lately.
PULSE Volunteer Partnership is a program that GSK started since 2009 to send motivated employees to support non-profit organisations in combating current health care challenges. Till now, the PULSE Volunteer Partnership has enabled 565 employees from across 57 different countries to work with 103 non-profit partners in 62 countries. The missions of PULSE are for GSK employees to use their professional skills to create positive and sustainable change in non-profit partners, to develop their leadership skills and heighten cultural agility, and bring back fresh energy and new ideas to GSK to activate change in step with global health needs.
Employees who want to join this program need to go through a complicate application process which takes about 5 months to complete, including to answer 20+ essay questions in the application form, be interviewed by PULSE team and by matched non-profit partners as well if being selected. The match is based on non-profit partners’ requirements and GSK employees specialties ranging from marketing, finance, IT, data management to supply chain and etc. The long and complicate process is only to ensure the best match between GSK employees and our non-profit partners.
Since I joined GSK in 2012, I have noticed PULSE program and decided to apply one day as it has always been my dream to go to Africa and support people in need. The non-profit partner I will work for is Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), an organisation founded in 2002 with a transformational goal to help save the lives of millions people in the developing world by combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. I will support CHAI Malaria project by utilising my supply chain skills to achieve its goal in increasing national uptake of diagnostic testing and reducing the overuse of malaria treatment (ACT) to ensure ACTs are only prescribed to those with true malaria infections.
The assignment at CHAI perfectly met my interests and expectations. I am very excited about being able to contribute and help people in the development world, and thrilled about my new life in Abuja, Nigeria for the next 6 months!
Photo1 : 2016 PULSE volunteers from Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Singapore, Pakistan and Taiwan were all energised in the orientation held in Singapore and excited about heading to their destinations in Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Canada, Thailand and Australia.
Photo 2: tried to be light packed in order to immerse myself in the new life in Nigeria. (but still a lot I know..)
在過去兩個月的聚會以來，我最常被問到的問題是 “為什麼你要去非洲?” “你要去那裡做什麼” “你辭職了嗎？” “非洲能有什麼樣的工作妳可以做呢？”，很多的困惑在朋友或甚至是同事的心中，雖然我已經回答這些問題很多次了，我想還是有很多人不清楚接下來六個月我要去非洲做什麼，所以我的第一個部落格就是解決那些我沒有機會講到話的朋友心中的困惑。
GSK 於2009年成立 PULSE 志工專案派遣員工去支援非盈利的組織，到現在這個專案已經送了來自57個不同的國家的565位員工到62個國家裡幫103個不同的非營利組織工作，這個專案的主旨是讓 GSK 員工能夠利用他們的專長來為非營利組織帶來正向而永續的改變，發展員工個人的領導能力並提升不同文化的適應力，然後帶回新的能量與想法讓GSK的發展能迎合世界醫療的需求。
去非洲幫助那邊的同胞一直是我的夢想之一，所以自從2012年加入 GSK 便注意到 PULSE 這個志工專案，決定有一天一定要申請。我即將要支援的非營利組織是 Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)，這個組織於2002年成立，旨在拯救發展中國家苦於愛滋、肺結核、瘧疾等疾病的人們的生命，我會支援 CHAI 的瘧疾專案，利用我過去供應鏈管理的經驗，來幫助 CHAI 達到專案的目標，也就是藉由提升瘧疾測試的普及率來降低瘧疾藥物使用在未受感染著，讓醫療資源能更有效率的使用在需要的人身上。
我非常的興奮藉由 PULSE 志工專案有機會能夠貢獻跟幫助發展中國家的人，也非常期待接下來6個月在奈及利亞的生活!
照片一: 來自馬來西亞、菲律賓、新加坡、巴基斯坦、澳洲和台灣的2016 PULSE志工同事即將前往包括坦尚尼亞、史瓦濟蘭、盧安達、贊比亞、奈及利亞、加拿大、澳洲及泰國等國家支援當地的非營利組織。