There is a new initiative for companies who want to place their people in a pro bono program that makes a real difference to global health, Global Health Corporate Champions. PYXERA Global is behind this innovative idea, focused on making pro bono experiences more available and affordable for companies interested in exploring pro bono in critical emerging markets. Now, the Global Health Corporate Champions is bringing together 12 professionals from companies across multiple industries for a one-month engagement in June in a service program in Accra, Ghana,under the USAID Global Health Fellows Program II.
Ghana is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa that has met the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty in half last year. It is also among the most developed countries in the region. Yet according to the World Bank Group, 24.3 percent of Ghana’s population still lives below the poverty line. There are challenges that hinder progress here: poverty is largely due to social and economic inequalities among its people. Ghana’s economic growth has slowed down significantly over the past few years, affecting its capital, Accra, where about 12.2 percent of its population is unemployed; these unemployed are further impacted by high food prices and income inequalities.
Apart from the city dwellers, poverty permeates a significant amount of rural areas in Accra , where there are 79 communities including Ga Mashie, James Town, Chorkor and Nima, which are identified as the most-high poverty communities in the region. The indigenous populations found throughout Accra are some of the most vulnerable. Households headed by women within these community’s experience significantly higher poverty rates.
This is where the Global Health Corporate Champions will make a difference, by working with local organisations to solve problems such as water and sanitation; food and nutrition; gender equality and empowerment; and health system strengthening. Although the focus will be on critical public health issues, selected professionals with business and operational expertise from companies across industry sectors will be needed to help the host organisations improve serving their communities. The Global Health Champions program is giving private sector companies an opportunity to complement the efforts of USAID to tackle some of the deepest health challenges facing the world today.
There has been a huge interest from companies representing different sectors—such as finance, professional services and medical technology— who want to get involved in pro bono work to help leverage their employees’ global leadership competencies. Global pro bono program participants always seem to gain an extraordinary professional development experience. Such programs are also where local clients gain a blend of talent and experience to meet their local critical needs, which would otherwise be unmet. Moreover, the sponsoring companies gain authentic reputations for social responsibility, insights into new markets and give their staff the chance to hone their global leadership skills. PYXERA Global is still offering opportunities for interested companies to place people in the Global Health Corporate Champions program.
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