INDIANAPOLIS, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) celebrated National Volunteer Week April 21-27 by sending off the first of 200 volunteers who will serve in impoverished communities throughout 2013. They are part of Connecting Hearts Abroad, Lilly's global employee volunteer program launched in 2011. Volunteer teams departed this week for Lima, Peru, and Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
Through Connecting Hearts Abroad, Lilly has sent more than 400 employees from its operations worldwide on two-week service assignments in communities throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America – communities that often lack access to basic resources such as clean water, medical care, or quality education. Since the program began, Lilly employees have devoted nearly 24,000 hours of service to helping children, families, the elderly, and communities in need.
In 2013, about 200 Lilly employees from 45 countries will volunteer in impoverished communities in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand.
"One of our goals with Connecting Hearts Abroad is to give our employees an opportunity to view the world through a different lens and bring their talents, energy, passion, and compassion to serve people around the world," said Bart Peterson, Lilly senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications. "As we think about the kind of company we want to be over the next several decades, Connecting Hearts Abroad gives our employees—and Lilly—a clearer view of the world, which can only make us a better company."Peterson traveled to Lima, Peru, last year with Lilly volunteers and leaders from Cross-Cultural Solutions, the company's primary partner for Connecting Hearts Abroad. Their experiences and perspectives are captured in a 15-minute, documentary-style video and a two-minute video with leaders from both organizations. Marking new milestone: Lilly volunteers support diabetes partnership For the first time, a team of Connecting Hearts Abroad employee volunteers will travel to Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 2013 to work with Project HOPE through The Lilly NCD Partnership. Launched in 2011, The Lilly NCD Partnership is a unique collaboration with some of the world's leading health organizations to find new solutions to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases, which include diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory diseases. Lilly and its partners specifically are focused on finding comprehensive new solutions for diabetes in low-income communities in South Africa, Brazil, India, and Mexico. The goal of the partnership is to research new approaches, report on what works and what doesn't, and advocate for the replication of the best solutions in other communities and countries. Ten Lilly volunteers in South Africa will apply specific skills and expertise to support the work of the HOPE Centre in Zandspruit, South Africa, an extremely impoverished area on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The HOPE Centre provides treatment and care to local residents and strives to inform, educate, and empower the community about health issues, especially diabetes and hypertension. At the HOPE Centre, the team of Lilly volunteers—which includes medical doctors, pharmacists, diabetes educators, and communication specialists—will help conduct community screenings, work with the clinic support team to improve pharmacy and lab operating procedures, develop information sheets to help improve patient understanding and medication compliance, and support nutrition education and peer educator training. Upon returning from their service assignments, Lilly volunteers with Connecting Hearts Abroad share their experiences and insights with colleagues through town halls, team meetings, blogs, and video. The goal is to help employees gain a deeper global perspective and spark new ideas and ways of thinking about patients, ultimately making Lilly a better company.