Financial Wellness

Increasingly within the SWHAP network, workplace HIV and wellness programmes are looking at health in a holistic manner, addressing factors influencing physical, psychological and societal health – recognising that good health is not just the absence of disease. Part of this focus also includes financial health which is an important aspect of wellness. Research shows that anxiety over finances can lead to long-term stress, impacting physical and mental health. This has an impact in the workplace resulting in absences, reduction in productivity and increased risk of accidents. Employers can help ease that stress through equipping employees with information and skills on how to manage their personal finances (shrm.org)

During the last three months, over 50 Peer Educators from the DRC, Mozambique and Zambia were equipped with skills to enhance their management of personal finances through interactive workshops. The workshops addressed issues such as budgeting, debt, goal setting and savings plans. The Peer Educators will share these skills with their peers at the workplaces.

In Zambia, Orica included its supply chain in the training. Pre and post workshop assessments showed significant improvements in knowledge on personal financial management

Training in the DRC also included refresher training on Ebola as there has been a new outbreak in recent weeks. The awareness sessions highlighted in particular, how the virus is spread, symptoms of the virus and precautions that can be taken to prevent infection. The awareness sessions are complementary to government initiatives to sensitise their populations on Ebola and to provide credible sources of information.

Training for Spouses

As part of efforts to ensure exposure to wellness information for all family members, spouses of employees from Zambia and Zimbabwe also took part in financial wellness training. In Zimbabwe, 30 Spouse Peer Educators (male and female) from Scanlink, Sandvik, Ericom Communications, Revco and their supply chain partners participated in a dialogue on financial wellness and its impact on psychosocial health. The emphasis of the dialogue, held on 30 April, was on building practical skills that address financial wellness. Participants discussed; budgeting and the different ways of managing family finances; the challenges and consequences of mismanagement; and the links between financial mismanagement and intimate partner violence. Some research has found that financial stressors are associated with the perpetration of intimate partner violence (Schwab-Reese 2016) and the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2015 notes that 35% of ever-married women reported having experienced physical or sexual violence from a spouse. 

Financial wellness training in Zimbabwe

Similar training was held for Spouse Peer Educators in Zambia on 9 June in Kitwe.

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