Two Weeks In South Africa Changed How This Lilly Volunteer Approaches Her Job

By David Marbaugh
Mar 11, 2014 1:15 PM ET

In August 2013, Kerry Leyden traveled more than 8,000 miles from the comforts of her native Canada to the unfamiliar landscapes of South Africa. But this wasn’t a holiday excursion. It was an eye-opening, thought-provoking adventure as a Lilly Connecting Hearts Abroad ambassador in a settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. 

It might surprise you to learn that Kerry, who manages Lilly’s customer response center in Canada, describes her volunteer experience in a poverty-stricken community as “wondrous.” But then you haven’t met Peter, Lucy and the other residents and staff who captured Kerry’s heart at a government-run facility for the elderly and disabled. 

Here, Kerry shares how 14 days with people whose lives have been altered by apartheid, disease and poverty have forever changed her life and renewed her compassion for the customers whom Lilly serves. 

To find out more about Kerry's experience, please read our blog.