A message to my younger self…and to you
‘’You can realise your dreams but it will take longer than you might expect, the path may not be easy to navigate with many twists and turns, challenges that you overcome prepare you for the future’’
I remember being in my school library aged 12 proudly wearing a digital watch, talking to a classmate about how I wanted a career ‘in space’ or medicine… I had a love of science and a mission to help those in need which has never left me… astronaut school wasn’t to be but medical school was and over the years whenever I could, I focussed on how to equip myself to achieve my goals, seeking advice along the way… from my 4th year medical school placement in obstetrics, gynaecology, general medicine and shadowing non-government organisations in Sudan, specialisation in obstetrics, gynaecology to working in a remote, rural hospital in South Africa leading the paediatric ward and covering all areas of medicine; from my MBA, joining the pharmaceutical industry, UK and global roles to STEM ambassador volunteer seeking to inspire young people develop an interest in science and science based careers in London schools and Uganda with the Africa Education Trust charity.
And here I am now, matched to Save the Children which marks 100 years in 2019, joining its Pneumonia Centenary Commitment (PCC), the global campaign to end preventable deaths from pneumonia, the largest infectious cause of child mortality globally.
I’ve been well equipped to start my PULSE assignment following the excellent orientation training last month in London where I met highly motivated fellow PULSE 2018 volunteers, the PULSE team who lead and support this programme and PULSE alumni.
Day 1, June 18th, I took off for Nairobi, Kenya and arrived safely however, my luggage did not! Short version is that I, who never packs light, displayed resilience and managed in considerably colder than London temperatures until a ‘Save’ colleague reunited me with my delayed luggage 3 days later… a lesson was learnt!
This Nairobi meeting was the first gathering of Save the Children colleagues from across the world and representatives from other organisations who are pivotal to this goal of reducing preventable deaths from childhood pneumonia particularly in Bangladesh, DRC, Ethiopia, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and South Sudan where the burden of childhood mortality from pneumonia is amongst the highest in the world. It was an inspiring meeting, full of people with commitment, expertise and purpose… a truly immersive experience which introduced me to the teams I will work with and the truly monumental task that must be successfully tackled.
Tomorrow, through the support of the GSK PULSE skills-based volunteering initiative and my department I will be at the Farringdon, London office of Save the Children, UK. I’m delighted to have been asked to play an instrumental role using all my skills and experience during a critical period for this endeavour and I look forward to sharing my 6 month journey with you in the days ahead…
If you’d like to learn more about Save the Children, pneumonia and PULSE do click on the links below:
#Bu #ivolunteer #gskvolunteer #PULSE10 #pneumonia