After a routine first half this year where I was living a normal life – I left.
I am Manjit Kaur Marbaha, devout daughter, mother, grandnonny, sister, aunt, friend and GSK employee.
Despite having the above roles and responsibilities, I left because my spirit was restless and it was guiding me elsewhere. Through the PULSE programme of GSK, I was able to relocate to the Philippines, which was written in my destiny.
I am reflecting on my application and the answers to my motivations, it was a wish list with high expectations.
It had been a work bucket list to fulfil a PULSE assignment since the programme had been established. I wanted a unique opportunity to be on international assignment, immersed in new activities and dedicate my expertise to helping others succeed. But, I wanted to keep my connection with GSK.
Thank you, PULSE, you delivered. I am mid-way through my assignment and I have grown amazingly. I am remarkable.
I am still Manjit Kaur Marbaha, though a little different now and much stronger. Why so?
After moving out of my comfort zones, I have tested my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strengths by living in a totally different environment and culture, working in a completely different job role.
In my new role in the Philippines I get to wear a t-shirt, like a superhero. It is bright red, has a small logo and three simple words written across the chest which are ‘Save the Children’.
Wearing the t-shirt transforms me. It represents a clear strong message recognised and appreciated by local communities, that every child deserves a future. It also means that all children in the Philippines and the world have a healthy start in life, opportunity to learn and protection from harm.
I have worn my t-shirt with much pride during recent visits to local communities.
Save the Children Philippines through the generosity of many supporters, work hard to help children gain access to quality education and health services in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I have visited multiple barangays on field trips to witness how Save the Children operates and contributes to the communities.
In Paranaque City and Taguig, I talked with parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder who acknowledged the much-needed support. The stories are covered in my last blog titled ‘Parents Protection Possibilities’.
In Navotas, I learned about the NUTURE (Nutrition Among Urban Poor Through Unified Response) programme and saw how a respected healthcare worker facilitates a lunchtime feeding in the NBBN Health Centre cooked by community volunteers. In my interview with her, I ascertained that there were many cases of teenage pregnancy in the community. I was shocked to learn that they have 75 acutely malnourished children.
It is sad to learn that the government can only provide funding for supplemental feeding for 40 children.
But Save the Children Philippines partnered with the local government on supplemental feeding to the remaining 35 malnourished children.
In Malabon I joined the local children for a Readaloud session, a story time through another key partnership. I was made to do the chicken dance in front of an excited audience but that’s the subject of a whole another blog! The partner took this opportunity to gift the children with flip flops, educational packs and lunch.
I am remarkable but I must continue to grow stronger emotionally as I learn to cope with this role and responsibilities. It is tough without my family and friends around me but I am building new friendships.
I have no alter ego. I do not wear a mask like superheroes do. I am not the figment of somebody’s imagination who is writing a comic book.
I am remarkable. I am writing a real version of my unique personal story, in this chapter of my actual life.
I am remarkable and so are you.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not.” Dr Seuss
Please continue giving generously to Save the Children so that we can continue to work towards the goal that ‘no child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday by 2030.”
My assignment is with Save the Children Philippines. To know more about where I am volunteering please take a peek at this link https://www.savethechildren.org.ph/
And, if you would like to know more information about the PULSE programme at GSK please use the following link https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/responsibility/our-people/employee-volunteering/