ASSOFE Policy Launch

Congratulations to the Association of Female Entrepreneurs of the DRC (ASSOFE) on the launch of their HIV and Wellness Policy. The Policy was launched at a ceremony held in Kinshasa on 30 August attended by representatives from UNAIDS, the Ministry of Gender and the Head of the National Programme for Gender and Equity within the Workplace, Severine Luntala.

ASSOFFE are under a mentorship programme with Sodeico Manpower which has seen nine steering committee members and 37 Peer Educators trained since the beginning of the year. ASSOFE supports women entrepreneurs from the informal sector to formalize their activities and to comply with national legislation. The Organisation provides a platform for social dialogue and capacity building around different topics including health and wellness. The mentorship programme is expected to reach employees from 60 organisations.

Symbolic handover of Sodeico HIV and Wellness Policy to the Head of the Association Jacqueline Bisimwa

HIV and wellness screening was available during the launch ceremony and a baseline knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices survey conducted.

Ngezi STI Community Dialogue

Mining communities, where many SWHAP partners operate, are particularly vulnerable to HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is due in part to the closed nature of the communities which promotes sexual networks (a key driver of HIV particularly in Southern Africa) and to high risk sexual practices in those communities. Companies in the SWHAP network often partner with the public and private sector to address this risk. The different projects and interventions aim to reduce behavioural risk factors, and strengthen the prevention of HIV and STIs through increasing awareness and access to treatment.

On 9 August, a partnership between, Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe, Zimplats, the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), the International Labour Organization, the National AIDS Council and SWHAP resulted in a community dialogue on STIs in the mining town of Ngezi. This was following reports of a spike in the numbers of STIs being recorded at the mine clinic. The objective of the dialogue was to encourage the residents of the town to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive health.

Popular talk show host Mai Chisamba facilitated the discussions, which looked at the drivers of STIs and the link with HIV.  Over 800 residents of the town, including mine employees, participated in the dialogue which encouraged them to examine behavioural practices that were fuelling the rise in STIs (for example, infidelity, multiple concurrent partnerships, risky sexual behaviours, lack of condom use, alcohol and drug abuse). At the end of the discussions representatives from the community signed a pledge committing to; marital fidelity, regular HIV and wellness screening, open communication between married couples and saying no to drug and alcohol abuse.

The lively event attracted considerable attention on social media with over 3 000 people viewing the video highlights on Facebook.

The programme at Ngezi is an acknowledgment that comprehensive HIV and AIDS responses must include the communities where employees reside. This is where most exposure takes place and reaching out to communities is important in reducing the risk faced by employees and their families. Sandvik and Atlas Copco have employees who work at this mine.

In conjunction with the dialogue, participants also had the opportunity for HIV screening and medical male circumcision. Employees were encouraged to attend the dialogue and screening with their spouses.

Renegade on the left: “This is a good thing. I was circumcised last time and now I have brought two of my friends for circumcision today. It will help them stay clean and healthy.”

Mombasa Truck Driver Programme – Union Employer Partnership

Last year, SWHAP worked in collaboration with the Federation of Kenya Employers, the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union and the International Labour Organization to improve access to HIV and wellness services for long distance truck drivers from companies in Nairobi. Following the success of the Nairobi programme, phase two was launched in Mombasa on 27 July with management sensitisation for 13 companies. The event attracted senior management from the target companies who were sensitised about the partnership and the business case for employee wellness programmes. Management sensitisation was followed by training for the respective HIV focal points on 31 August.

The programme is a union employer partnership building capacity within the 13 organisations to set up and implement workplace HIV and wellness programmes and policies that protect the rights of HIV positive drivers. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to enhance testing uptake and access to services for long distance drivers by ensuring that the workplaces they come from have supportive policies and programmes in place.

The Union has been instrumental in motivating employer participation, ensuring 100% attendance by the target companies.

From left: Isaac Kiema, Projects and Capacity Building Coordinator, Kenya Federation of Employers and Nicholas Mbugua, Secretary General, Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union (an affiliate of Central Organisation of Trade Unions Kenya)

Before the project many employers saw us as their rivals. We have now developed a better way of relating. Indeed, the success of the Nairobi phase of the project is evident in the 100% attendance by the transporters we saw at the Mombasa phase launch. It means that the transporters are talking amongst themselves, convincing each other that the Union is not only concerned with wage negotiations but also offers other benefits.-Nicholas Mbugua, Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union

The KLDTAWU is no longer just offering roadside testing, but going into companies to provide a supportive environment for positive workers and prevention interventions for those that are negative. – Helen Mugutu, International Labour Organization

Compensation against discrimination based on HIV status is high. It is important for the employers to know how to address this. Policies are important they enable certainties in terms of decision making. – Isaac Kiema, Kenya Federation of Employers

 

Babcock Showcase Wellness Programme in Sweden

Babcock Ntuthuko South Africa were the winners of the SWHAP Achievement Award for Most Comprehensive Programme 2016. As part of the prize Mpho Matshane, General Manager – SHERQ, and Eugene Penny, SHE Risk Practitioner and Peer Educator, travelled to Sweden at the beginning of September to showcase the programme. They shared best practice and insights into the programme’s success during a wellness management seminar on “Fostering Healthy Workplaces” at the International Council of Swedish Industry, and participated in a workshop on the Swedish labour market model at IF Metall along with the SWHAP team.

Babcock is running a comprehensive HIV and wellness programme where 98% of the company are aware of their HIV status. Follow the link to read a case study on workplace wellness and diversity management at Babcock.

The benefits of the programme have improved morale and productivity – Mpho Matshane General Manager – SHERQ

From left: Mpho Matshane and Eugene Penny from Babcock Ntuthuko also had the opportunity to tour the Volvo Head Quarters in Gothenburg

Women’s Month – South Africa

Women’s Month – South Africa

South Africa celebrates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the expansion of Pass Laws to women.

Women’s month is an important opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and contributions to the country and to highlight issues such as gender based violence (GBV) and gender inequality.

As part of their Women’s Month commemorations, Scania organised a self-defence workshop for employees. This initiative was complementary to other activities that seek to address the root causes of GBV and the inequalities faced by women.

Recently, GBV has been in the spotlight in South Africa after a series of violent crimes against women (many by their intimate partners) were highlighted by the media. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence experienced by South African women and is the leading cause of death amongst this group. More women are killed by their current or former intimate male partner in South Africa than in any other country in the world. The 2016 Demographic and Health Survey by Statistics South Africa noted that one in every five partnered women experienced physical violence by a partner.

Mentorship Update

Zambia

Atlas Copco Launch Second Supply Chain Programme

In 2012, with support from SWHAP, Atlas Copco Zambia implemented a supply chain programme that saw five companies successfully complete the mentorship process and go on to implement wellness activities that contributed to the bettter health and wellbeing of their employees. On 23 August, building on from that experience and the lessons learnt, Atlas Copco launched the second round of the supply chain programme for another five companies in the hospitality, transport and logistics, and mining sectors.

The second supply chain programme commenced with management sensitisation in Chingola where the business case for the uptake of workplace wellness, HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support interventions was presented.  Senior management from Atlas Copco and the mentee companies attended the meeting and also discussed the mentorship process, roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders and the expected outcomes.

The programme is expected to promote sustainable productivity by enhancing employee health and wellbeing in the mentee companies. The participating companies commended Atlas Copco for an initiative that strengthens business cooperation and relationships with other companies calling it: ‘an ideal model of modern business relationship management’.

South Africa

The Sandvik South Africa Supply Chain Programme is progressing well. Seven companies committed to the mentorship process in February and have so far conducted management sensitisation, selection and training of steering committees, and started the policy development process. Additionally, baseline knowledge, attitudes and practices surveys have been conducted at Progressive Signs, Drill Rod Specialists and ASA Fabrication.

Turnkey Hydraulics a company under the mentorship programme has already conducted a wellness day with employees pledging to take responsibility for their health.

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, 28 steering committee members from seven previously supported companies under the Atlas Copco and Sandvik mentorship programmes underwent capacity building on 11 August. The focus of the training was to re-appraise committees on the foundation principles that support responsive workplace HIV and wellness programmes and to enhance capacities for developing workplace HIV and wellness strategies and workplans.

The training has been an eye opener and provided a platform to learn and exchange ideas from other organisations. This will be key in driving the wellness programme in our workplace. As a committee member, I take home the drive, energy and passion to implement. Farai Marara, Area Manager, Servcor (former Sandvik Mining and Construction mentee company).

And finally, congratulations to Revco Zimbabwe (SKF Distributor) on the launch of their mentorship programme with ProSec. Management sensitisation was held on 2 August. And to Unifreight who launched their HIV and AIDS Policy on 18 September in Harare. Unifreight were under the Scanlink mentorship programme.

Community Outreach

Many SWHAP partners have community outreach programmes supporting orphans and vulnerable children. This is an important contribution when one considers that over 14 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

Scania Kenya

On 21 July, Peer Educators from Scania Kenya organised a successful medical camp for 270 children from the Children’s Garden Home and School in Uthiru. Working with a primary health care service provider, the company provided weight checks, deworming, dental check-ups, and facilitated for the provision of prescription medication and first aid material. Staff from Scania contributed generously to the initiative collecting food, clothes and shoes for the children.

The Children’s Garden Home and School supports children that have been orphaned due to AIDS. Since 2013 (after visiting the orphanage during a World AIDS Day SWHAP Peer Educator outreach) Scania has made regular donations to the school, and last year, built a lab for the students.

Mandela Day

Inspired to take action against poverty, UD Trucks South Africa extended their workplace programme to make a positive impact on their community for Mandela Day. A soup kitchen supported by the company provided hot meals at the Kids Victory Centre in Klipgat (a centre that takes care of the elderly and children orphaned by AIDS) whilst Peer Educators helped with general repairs. Free biometric testing was also provided for the residents of the centre.

Read more about the activity and the partnerships that made it a success. UD Trucks Mandela Day

SAAB

Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) lent a philanthropic hand to the Miriam Makeba Centre for Girls, a non-profit organisation founded by the late singer Dr. Miriam Makeba, in Midrand. The Centre was established with the aim of providing a home for destitute and or abused girls between the ages of 11 and 18. It provides a home environment with professional counselling, support, practical vocational training and life skills development services to enable the girls to become self-sufficient in preparation for re-integration into society. Volunteers from SGD eagerly took part in field games and activities with the girls in addition to handing over toiletry supplies and food packs.

Community Outreach at the Agricultural Show

It has become an annual tradition for SWHAP in Zambia and Zimbabwe to use the Agricultural Shows in the two countries to reach members of the public with information on HIV and wellness. This year was no different as 12 Peer Educators from the SWHAP network in Zambia attended the Show handing out condoms and information communication and education material to show goers. As many as 250 000 people attended the show over the six-day period.

Condom advocacy at the Zambia Agricultural Show

In Zimbabwe, SWHAP hosted a stand with the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), Childline, the International Labour Organization and Medecins Sans Frontieres under the theme “Seeding SRHR Knowledge for Action”. Roadshow edutainment on various themes dealing with HIV testing and gender based violence ensured the stand was always busy. Other services on offer included; a children’s lounge with age appropriate sexual reproductive health information, one-on-one counselling sessions, free screening for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and contraception services.

Edutainment – testing advocacy at the Harare Agricultural Show

CEO Networking

SWHAP has found that management are motivated and engaged when HIV and wellness is presented as a business case and the cost benefit analysis of programmes is demonstrated. For this reason, SWHAP supports workshops where CEOs and management representatives get together to network, share ideas and strategies on how to get the best out of programmes. Union participation at these meetings is an important aspect, as partnerships between management and trade unions is one of the fundamental success factors of workplace programmes.

Between June and August, network training meetings were held in the DRC, Zimbabwe and Zambia allowing 113 senior managers to update their wellness management knowledge.

Ambassador Håkansson

During the meeting in the DRC, the Ambassador of Sweden to the DRC, H.E. Håkansson confirmed Sweden’s commitment to, the HIV response in the country and the promotion of gender equality and employee wellness in the workplace. The event was held in collaboration with UNAIDS and covered on three national news stations.

The SWHAP Southern Africa Regional Coordinator, Edith Maziofa-Tapfuma addressing participants at the workshop in Lusaka

In Zambia, the workshops were held in Kitwe and Lusaka on 16 and 29 June respectively. The meetings were attended by CEOs and senior management personnel from; Atlas Copco and their supply chain companies, ABB, Scania, SKF, Sandvik, Bayport, Orica, the National Union of Building, Engineering and General Workers Union, the district HIV and AIDS Task Force, the National AIDS Council and the Swedish Embassy.

From left: Lovemore Nyastine, Econet; Douglas Mboweni, Econet; Mrs Mboweni; Edith Maziofa-Tapfuma, SWHAP and David Mutambara, ZBCW

Managers at the meeting in Zimbabwe discussed the ways in which employee wellness programmes could be a vehicle for driving business growth and fostering sustainability. The key address was delivered by Douglas Mboweni the CEO of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest provider of telecommunications services. He encouraged an integrated approach to employee wellness looking at all the different dimensions of wellness.  Mr Mboweni noted the importance of aligning wellness programmes with the vision of the business in the initial stages of programme design as well as a clear demonstration of commitment from senior management. The meeting in Zimbabwe was held in partnership with the Zimbabwe Business Council on Wellness and also included their private sector members. From SWHAP, management representatives from Sandvik, Atlas Copco, Ericsson, Ericom Communications, Scania and their mentee partners attended.

Business sustainability is dependent upon the ability to build business resilience that enables the business to effectively navigate through contextual challenges. Good leadership and effective people are key elements fundamental to building such business resilience. Douglas Mboweni, CEO, Econet

Building Capacity within Peer Education

Peer education is one of the most widely used and effective strategies for raising awareness on HIV and wellness. Peer Educators at current and previously-supported companies are usually part of the HIV and wellness workplace committees. They provide training, create opportunities for discussion and counselling with fellow employees and are involved in outreach activities. It is thus important to keep them updated on new developments in HIV and wellness and to provide refresher training.

Peer Education training under the NUBEGW mentorship programme

In Zambia, peer educator refresher training was held in Kitwe for 37 Peer Educators from the SWHAP network during the first week of June. Additionally, another 15 Peer Educators under the National Union of Building, Engineering and General Workers Union mentorship programme underwent their first capacity building session between 10 and 11 August in Lusaka.

A gender norms transformation training workshop for 50 Peer Educators from Zimbabwe contributed to enhanced understanding on the importance of engaging men in workplace programmes and how harmful gender norms can be barriers to HIV, sexual reproductive health and rights and gender based violence responses. By the end of the training participants committed to sharing what they had learnt with their organisations and developed workplans to guide the process. Additionally, each company received a flash stick containing all the training material including videos and other resources.

Panaco Steering Committee

In the DRC, seven members of the Panaco steering committee built their capacity to implement workplace wellness programmes on 4 July.