ConstanceConstance BORDES
Communication & Brand Director, IBM France
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“I am Constance BORDES, communications and brand director for IBM France and IBMer solidaire. I worked for Actume. "

sante pour tous actume ministere santeWhy did you take part in this solidarity action?

I participated in this caravan because, during our first solidarity day with Actume as IBMer, we decided to support a cause of one of our colleagues in this case Oumar Kane who is the president of the association. Actume. I found that what he was doing was very interesting, providing care in a village and in an area in southern Mauritania. I found that it was quite interesting and it happens that I also know Mauritania not too badly, my parents having lived there for a while and therefore each other, the more the desire to get involved. in something a little different here I left for Tékane last April!

What was your impression?

My impression is first of all the hospitality and kindness of the people who welcomed me and who were extremely adorable, as I am used to say now my family has grown a lot because the KANEs and the SY adopted me into their family and that's a lot of people!

So obviously something around a very touching and very pleasant hospitality, then the fact that the doctors who got involved and pharmacists were very willing, very competent people, it goes without saying. I was touched by this skill and by the desire to move the project forward. There were a few meetings in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania which were very interesting, we also went to collect the medicines.

I saw the teams at work working and showing conviction to precisely recover the drugs in the allotted time, because there, we were really linked to an issue of starting drugs so that they were on the site sufficiently quickly. Then there was the trip, there it was the work, the organization. A sort of indescribable animation at first but the patients waited calmly. We saw 1,800 patients. And even if there are patients who could not be seen by the doctors because unfortunately there were only a few days and not enough time to see everyone. It might be some kind of fatality or that kind of thing, but it didn't make a big deal, and all that I think is because also between the caravans, there was a continuity in work with community agents who continue to do the minimum around health, hygiene and education.

 What was your involvement in the caravan itself?

Mcaravaneour involvement was still quite modest since i have no medical skills so of course i couldn't see anyone. I was automatically appointed reporter so I took a lot of photos and films, I did some small sketches too but nothing very serious. I also worked at the pharmacy because pharmacists could not do everything. We bought drugs in bulk, for example iron, then we had to put this iron in monthly doses that were given to the patients, because most of the patients lacked iron. Pharmacists couldn't read the prescription, give the right dose, tidy the pharmacy and make sure they knew where it was all so there was a need for help. I did a little "logistics" from that point of view. I also went to give a hand to the dentists who needed help with compresses and finally educate people to tell them where a particular medical area was.

Are you ready to redo the action or recommend other volunteers?

I will gladly repeat this experience, however it will be difficult for this year, because I will be a united IBMer who leaves for Corporate Service Corps (CSC). So I might have a hard time doing everything but I will gladly do it anyway I recommend to people who want to get involved with ACTUME in Paris or Mauritania according to their possibilities.

List three words to sum up the solidarity action?

Three words to sum up this solidarity action: efficiency, involvement, solidarity.

> Also consult the others  testimonials from volunteers

 Interview by Robin fraudeau (IBMer Solidaire), September 19, 2014
Transcript directed by Maïry KANE


Find out more:

Read the report of the caravan, first edition (2013): here