Flavor of Kenya’s potential
In the Executive in Residence (EIR) program, colleagues can learn about cutting-edge innovations and revolutionary healthcare models through an unusual leadership development experience. An immersive pro bono experience makes full use of the executive’s professional experience and even expands it, while giving them the chance to make a lasting social impact by collaborating with some of the world’s most innovative social entrepreneurs. Tuyet Hau, Corporate Internal Auditor at Boehringer Ingelheim Germany, completed the EIR program with Access Afya, a social entrepreneur of the Making More Health (MMH) network who runs microclinics in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
Tuyet, how did you support Access Afya?
Access Afya provides quality care to low-income groups in the slums of Nairobi through a chain of microclinics and mobile health programs. During my six-week assignment with them, I used the knowledge and the expertise I gained from working at a global organization like ours to help them strengthen their processes and systems as well as implement a comprehensive audit checklist for better scale-up.
What challenged you the most during your EIR experience?
As I had never been to Kenya, the main challenge was getting used to a completely new working culture. Although I travel a lot in my personal life and for business, I dedicated a great deal of time and effort to learning about Kenyan culture, which was key. It influenced my views, my values and my hopes, so that when I worked with the Kenyan people and built relationships with them, I had a better understanding of their cultures. And yet, we still have much in common.
How did the experience impact you?
It was a huge opportunity to engage with small businesses and startups, understand their needs and find the best way for them to succeed in Kenya as well as in eastern Africa. My time at Access Afya also enhanced my visibility within the company and opened my eyes to other possibilities, which influenced my career path. I went beyond my daily work routine to achieve an impact on society that is sustainable and makes a difference.
How did your experience influence Boehringer Ingelheim as an organization?
EIR is a unique program where employees can help enhance the health situation in different parts of the world, working with social innovators and in direct contact with patients. I strongly recommend my colleagues go through this amazing experience, and I am proud to work for a company that takes care of the development of their workforce.