Blog Post

International volunteers to work with DWF



The Donald Woods Foundation is hosting its third group of 10 international volunteers who are spending two weeks working with Foundation teams on health and education programmes in and around the Mbashe region.

Representing a United Nations of countries, the Foundation welcomed Jason A Tharp (USA), Nihal Abbas Elmously (Egypt), Renee Sullivan (USA), Xiaoming Wang (China), Christine Hardwick (USA), Marc Adamsbaum (Switzerland), Ellen van Houwelingen (Netherlands), Una Feeney (Ireland), Kamlanathan Kodiappan (Malaysia) and Benjamin Joseph Stock (USA) – all employees of Eli Lilly – which funds the Foundation’s prime health programme Health in Every Hut.

All will be spending two weeks (24 October-5 November) at the Donald Woods Centre at Hobeni working with DWF’s health and education teams in and around rural Mbashe. They will spend the first week going out into the field with teams conducting advocacy, health promotion and follow-up care.

During their second week, the ambassadors will work with DWF staff in training sessions on developing new methodologies towards health promotion, report writing and communication skills and supporting peer educators among in-school and out-of-school youth, to provide health education, including sexual reproductive health and gender-based violence awareness.

But it’s not all work as visitors will also get a taste of Xhosa hospitality and heritage with cultural days and the soccer and netball tournaments with local schools are usually a highlight of the trip for both visitors and hosts.

The volunteers are part of Connecting Hearts Abroad (CHA), an annual employee volunteer programme which sees Lilly staff volunteer for two-week stints in low and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. They collaborate with local partners to better understand the challenges faced by these communities, including access to quality care. During their stay, the teams apply specialised skills in patient education, information technology and other disciplines to help advance the goals of local health partners.

Each year, Lilly sends at least 100 employees from its operations worldwide to volunteer in communities that often lack access to basic resources, including quality health care. Through the programme, ambassadors have the opportunity to see the world through a different lens—and to share their experiences with colleagues to help Lilly become a better, more globally aware company.

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