Reaching the Informal Sector through Union Mentorship Programmes

Partnership with SWHAP has helped La Confédération Syndicale du Congo, or CSC, have a positive impact on the informal sector in the DRC, where the union is working to promote social protection and decent work. This work is essential as the African Development Bank reports that the majority of the DRC’s socio-economic activities take place in the informal sector and an estimated “80% of the active population operates outside the labour market”. CSC has 2000 members in formal employment and 800 in the informal sector.

Prior to the mentorship with SWHAP, the union conducted ad hoc activities on HIV and AIDS for its members. Training has assisted CSC to formally integrate HIV under the Union’s social protection objectives, enhancing its capacity to teach employees and members how to protect themselves against HIV and other communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Some results from 2018:

  • 42 trade unionists from the informal and formal sector trained on how to pilot and implement health initiatives within workplaces.
  • 26 trade unionists trained on workplace HIV policy drafting.
  • 43 Peer Educators built capacity in sexual reproductive health, gender equality and behaviour change communication and advocacy.
  • 28 300 condoms distributed.
  • 10 awareness sessions coupled with HIV counselling an testing conducted with Peer Educators in the formal and informal sector.
  • Over 800 taxi drivers, female market vendors, mechanics and those working in agriculture, reached with information on HIV prevention and family planning.

Additionally, within the formal sector, the Union created structures in 29 member companies to improve health interventions and outreaches that were already being conducted. Steering committees and vibrant peer education programmes are now promoting positive behaviour change in workplaces and communities.

Three-day peer educator training conducted in Lubumbashi during August

A new manual was developed by CEILS business coalition for the training course.

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