Back in May, I had the chance to meet my fellow PULSE 2018 volunteers in our face-to-face orientation at GSK House. During those three days, we laughed, we cried, we danced to Shakira’s Waka Waka and we played with Lego bricks and marshmallows. But more importantly, we felt part of something bigger. We created a special bond. We reminded ourselves WHY we were driven to apply for PULSE in the first place. We learned about sustainable development and global health, about working with NGOs and the public sector, and we came out feeling more prepared to embark on our PULSE volunteering journey.
Now, after months of essays, interviews, and trainings, it is almost time to begin my six-month assignment. I will be working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Panama, aiming to improve the supply chain of malaria commodities to remote regions of the country. Although it is preventable and treatable, malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, especially affecting children under 5 years of age. CHAI works closely with governments around the world to improve the effectiveness of malaria programs and eventually reach the goal of malaria elimination.
Before signing off this first post, I would like to thank my leaders, my colleagues, the PULSE team, and my family for their encouragement and support. This opportunity would not be a reality without you. To all my new volunteer friends, the 10th anniversary PULSE class, I wish you all the best of luck on this incredible adventure. I feel honored to be part of this group and I am certain that this experience will be enlightening, challenging, refreshing, and rewarding, all at once.
Let’s all BE the change we wish to see… one step at a time.