October 06

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Volunteering Day within GSK: our Orange day in a school

Tuesday this week was booked for our GSK Volunteering day called “Orange day” as per GSK colour! I met for the first time my local GSK colleagues in Zambia. They are all part of the Sales & Marketing team for Consumer Healthcare but also sales representatives for Vaccines. Their role is really interesting. They shared with me how they collaborate with GSK South Africa Consumer site and operate here in Zambia: they deal directly with the Ministry of Health, Hospitals and shops to promote GSK products. I also met another volunteer, Haider from Pakistan. We did not know each other until this volunteering day and this is amazing how the magic happened: we felt like a family that day of volunteering all together. It was as if we knew each other for a long time. I realized how powerful the identity to GSK is. We have the same core values, the same “GSK spirit”….we immediately talk about our home jobs, about GSK programmes, GSK products and innovation pipeline, about our GSK CEO…!

Then, with the team, we went to buy some paint and brushes: for our volunteering day, we would go to an isolated school in rural areas in order to paint a classroom for the children. We drove less than two hours in a very bumpy and dusty road to finally access this school set up on a hill outlooking the valleys around: here we go in Nanduba village! Children walk kilometers every day to get to this school, that is to say how much they like studying!

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It is now very hot outside but we will find as much energy as we can to help this local community getting a nice school! When we arrive, a teacher was giving class outside: there are only 2 classrooms for 119 children split amongst 6 grades.

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We have been welcomed by the Village Chief’s spouse who was extremely grateful for coming so far to help them. The magic came afterwards: all together we split very rapidly and naturally our tasks within the group. We were so motivated by this painting event that we were extremely efficient in painting just within a couple of hours all together. The children were so curious about our work that they surrounded us, and even some of them started to help us taking one brush in hand: group spirit was rocking! Once, we finished work, we cleaned tools using the pump to get water and all kids stayed in group to thank us so much! They seem so happy to be able studying in a nicer classroom…

What a magical day… And with simple concrete and tangible action like this, we understand and see the direct purpose of it and feel even more impactful! I felt helpful that day!

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