As part of our long-running partnership with GSK, Amref UK benefits from the PULSE programme, which matches GSK staff with non-profit organisations. During a three- or six-month secondment, volunteers share their skills and help to address healthcare challenges all over the world.
Since its launch in 2009, PULSE has placed nearly 400 GSK employees with 85 non-profit partners in 57 countries. This year, Amref UK has enjoyed the expertise of Cleo Matlou, who is spending six months in our London office as Finance Improvement Officer. In November, Cleo travelled to Ethiopia to visit our WASH projects and provide capacity-building support to the Finance team there.
"The two-week field visit was the most enriching experience on my PULSE assignment," says Cleo. "Working with the Finance team was intense but very interesting. The primary challenge was achieving sustainable change and providing robust recommendations that the team would be able to drive once I had departed - all within a week. These were very testing times! The feedback I got from the team has been very positive, enlightening and encouraging."
"I also had the opportunity to visit the South Omo region, where Amref has been working in partnership with Orbis to combat trachoma," says Cleo in a post written for the PULSE blog. "We travelled to the most remote parts of North and South Ari where Amref has successfully provided long-lasting change to community members' health. The primary impacts were raising awareness of the importance of sanitation and hygiene and their correlation to better health; building toilets at schools; and providing clean running water for residents in the most remote areas."
"My time with Amref has encouraged innovation and given me confidence in myself when I see the impact I can have. It's also been a humbling experience: it's made me realise just how much I take for granted!"