International volunteer programs can be life-changing. Take Doug Mackie, an IT Business Analyst at GSK. Though a father of three college-age children, Doug had never had a passport or left the United States before his recent GSK PULSE assignment in Kenya. Following his assignment, Doug's perspective on life, work, and his career at GSK was changed forever. Read "Six Months in Kenya, Changing Lives" to hear how Doug's experience brought new meaning to GSK's focus on the patient.
As a VP at CDC Development Solutions (CDS), an international nonprofit that designs and manages International Corporate Volunteer (ICV) programs for companies, I hear time and time again that it is not just volunteers who change through ICV programs. Medical facilities, research centers, and organizations throughout the world are being introduced to new and innovative approaches to their work and the populations they serve. Volunteers spend one to six months using their professional and technical skills to create items such as a business strategy, IT database, or a marketing plan for entities such as nonprofit or government agency. Not only this--they create systemsand processes that support organizations and communities long after they leave. Here at CDS, we have launched the New Global Citizen, an online magazine where you can read stories of leadership that emerge from ICV programs and cross-border experiences. I encourage you to read it, and let us know what you think.
Photo used with permission.