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Lilly launches global service programme

Lilly has launched a new CSR programme through which 200 of the company’s employees will serve as volunteer "ambassadors" to regions that lack basic resources
Lilly has launched a new CSR programme through which 200 of the company's employees will serve as volunteer "ambassadors" to regions that lack basic resources. 

The goal of the programme is to offer help to people who need it, but also to fuel innovation within the company. "While serving others, the ambassadors will also gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of different cultures and see first hand the complex problems and opportunities associated with improving human health in developing areas," according to Lilly. 

Lilly said the programme is part of a wider effort to shift its corporate responsibility focus to "concentrate on areas where society's needs intersect with the company's areas of expertise and focus — a concept known as shared value."

The goal is to start conversations and involve the entire organisation in the experiences of the ambassadors to spark new ideas about how Lilly can better meet people's needs
The first Lilly Ambassadors will leave on April 2 for a two-week assignment in New Delhi, India. In all, 200 Lilly employees from 38 countries will take part in the programme in 2011, travelling to areas such as Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. The participants – who include lab technicians, marketing associates and manufacturing specialists – were selected from a pool of 1,800 Lilly employees who applied to take part. Management, hourly and salaried non-management employees are all eligible to apply. 

The employees will provide assistance in four areas: healthcare (observing and assisting local health professionals and working with people affected by HIV/AIDS), caregiving: (caring for the elderly, infants and children, and people with disabilities), teaching: (assisting teachers of special education, teaching children and teaching conversational English) and community development (sharing professional skills and experience, working toward women's empowerment). Each service assignment in each country will have eight to nine Lilly employees. 

The travellers will share their experiences with other Lilly employees through blogs and other forms of communication. "The goal is to start conversations and involve the entire organisation in the experiences of the ambassadors to spark new ideas about how Lilly can better meet people's needs," the company said. 

The effort is a partnership with the international not-for-profit organisation Cross-Cultural Solutions, which operates short-term volunteer programmes in 12 countries. 

31st March 2011

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