A Volunteer Opportunity Half Way Across the World

Posted by On July 14, 2015
Kaye Henderson, GSK PULSE Volunteer By Andrea Kirsten-Coleman For the next six months, Kaye Henderson will trade her position in procurement at GSK in London for a volunteer role at a local non-governmental organization (NGO) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a GSK PULSE Volunteer, Kaye will develop a monitoring-and-evaluation system, financial management tools, and a procurement strategy for the Mathiwos Wondu Ye‐Ethiopia Cancer Society (MWECS), an implementing partner of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon. MWECS is one of four NGOs that are working on cancer in Ethiopia. Kaye will also train staff on how to use these systems that will ultimately help the organization apply for additional grants to support future work. “I applied to be a PULSE volunteer to try something new, to expand and challenge my skills and to give back,” says Kaye when asked about her interest in the opportunity. “While we don’t get to choose our assignment, I did express my interest in volunteering for an organization that works in cancer to impact so many people’s lives.” Kaye hopes to teach others at MWECS and learn from them at the same time. “I hope that I can help to generate processes that the organization can use again and again, making their life a little bit easier. I hope to learn from them too, especially about the organization and how they work.” And success in this assignment for Kaye is simple: “Getting to work with other people and seeing that I have made some difference, no matter how big or small, will mean success for me.” About the GSK PULSE Volunteer Program: The GSK PULSE program matches GSK employees through a rigorous and selective process to work full-time with a non-profit organization for three or six months to help solve healthcare challenges around the world. Since 2009, PULSE has sent more than 500 GSK employees from 51 countries to serve 94 different non-profits. To date, the volunteers have provided GSK’s partners with over £16 million worth of services. In 2014, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon received two GSK PULSE volunteers, Lyudmyla Yakymenko of Ukraine and Emma Drawbridge of the United Kingdom who supported implementing NGOs in the United Republic of Tanzania. Lyudmyla worked in Mwanza Region to improve the data management system at Bugando Medical Centre, and Emma was in Dar es Salaam at the Medical Women Association of Tanzania to improve the organization’s financial systems. To learn more about Kaye’s experience in Ethiopia read her blog here. Andrea Kirsten-Coleman is Program Manager, Communications, Development and Partner Outreach, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon.