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Better Health for our Communities
Long-term support for Tanzania
Our Community Hero in the category “Better Health for our Communities” comes from Norway. Marion Steigedal is an employee at the Vitusapotek Orkedalen and founded a project to establish long-term support for a village called Shimbwe in Tanzania.
During an extendedstay in Tanzania she became aware of the people’s needs and decided to found her own project. Until now, the project has been able to build 13 houses and has paid school fees for 30 children with money fundraised in Norway. For her, the village’s future strongly depends on the children’s education, which is why she also helps the schools with small investments, such as the purchase of projectors and school books.
Marion says that working in Tanzania was not an easy task, as she had to cope with cultural differences, such as language and working-attitude, but the memories and experiences she took with her were more than rewarding. “You meet so many nice people, and you really learn to see things differently, you learn to be grateful for the water and toilet you have in your house, for having enough food every day, for having good shoes and your own car”, she says. Living in Tanzania and spending time with people there has helped Marion to appreciate the smaller things in life, such as harmony and less stress and to place less meaning on material goods.
In order to further foster children’s education and the development of people’s lives in Shimbwe, a grant of $2,500 (in local currency) will be donated to the project.
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What I liked most about volunteering with my project was to see how happy the people I helped were. Especially those who got a new home. The most special moment was when one of the families had a baby girl, just a few days after they moved into their new house, and they named her Marion, to show how grateful they were.Marion Steigedal, Vitusapotek Orkedalen, Norway
Better Health for our Planet
Refood – preventing food waste
The Community Heroes award in the category “Better Health for our Planet” goes to Maria João Martinho, who works at OCP Portugal. Maria volunteers for Refood, a non-profit project founded as an instrument to facilitate the redirection of left-overs to hungry people. Together with other volunteers, Maria collects food every day from cafés, restaurants and grocery stores, which would otherwise be wasted, and delivers it to the homeless, unemployed or other people in need.
Over the last seven years the project has grown from a local initiative to an exponential movement that engages 6,500 volunteers who serve 5,500 beneficiaries 84,000 meals per month.
Refood has a threefold mission: to end unnecessary food waste, to end urban hunger and to develop local communities. Thereby, their intention is to make it possible for all food-producers, people, institutions and businesses within each neighbourhood to participate in the project. The global vision is to replicate this system in every neighbourhood in all cities around the world.
In order to start operations in the centres, all volunteers had to get used to new practices and learn about hygiene and food safety. Maria describes this as a challenging time and still encounters challenges and unexpected situations in her daily business, but for her the enriching experience clearly prevails. Being able to make a difference for someone in need, even only a little one, is what Maria appreciates most as a volunteer.
For their great volunteer work and dedication towards making a difference, Refood will receive a grant of $2,500 (in local currency).
It is a good feeling being a part of a project that aims to reduce the food waste of the communities and at the same time improves the wellbeing of the people in need. At the end of the day it is good to remember the smiles, the gratitude of the people we help and the good moments we share with each other.Maria João Martinho, OCP Portugal
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Better Health for our Patient
Helping families in a time of need
Our Community Hero in the category “Better Health for our Patient” is Leonora Kinsella. She is an employee at United Drug in Ireland, who works voluntarily as a trustee and a chairperson of Hugh’s House, an organisation in Ireland that provides accommodation to families of children who are long-term in-patients at two local hospitals. The organisation enables the families to live near their children as they undergo long-term medical treatment, and helps them to feel at home to a certain extent.
Each room of the house has a special meaning to the families and was renovated and decorated by Leonora and a compassionate team of volunteers who offer the families the care and support they need during such a difficult time. “The fact that parents do not incur any expenses whilst staying in Hugh’s House makes it all worthwhile”, says Leonora.
The project has made a great impression not only on our colleagues at McKesson Europe, but also at the McKesson Corporation and McKesson Canada, which is why Leonora was selected as the Global Community Hero in the Category “Our Patients”. Congratulations! Therefore, a grant of $5,000 (in local currency) will be donated to Hugh’s House to further support the families in their time of need.
I’ve experienced many emotions during my time with Hugh’s House, predominately when I meet parents and hear their stories and how Hugh’s House has helped them and allowed them to spend time with their children. A particular moving experience was when I had the pleasure of joining a group of 30 cyclists, in a support role, who did the Mizen to Malin Head cycle for Hugh’s House and we met many families along the route who came out to thank the cyclists and introduce their children who they had helped.Leonora Kinsella, United Drug, Ireland