On 26 June, the third phase of the Union/Employer partnership was launched in Nairobi with sensitisation for managers from ten companies participating in the programme. The initiative will support the companies to set up HIV and AIDS programmes that address structural issues that make employees more vulnerable to HIV, STIs and other infections.
The Programme is a partnership with the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union (KLDTDAWU), the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), the Central Organization of Trade Unions Kenya (COTU-K), the International Labour Organization, the National AIDS Control Council and SWHAP. The participating companies are members of FKE and KLDTDAWU.
During the first two phases, 20 companies in the transport sector were assisted to set up workplace programmes. HIV and AIDS policies were also formulated by steering committees to protect the rights of workers. Another important aspect of the programme was advocacy for enrolment on to the National Hospital Insurance Fund during the awareness drives conducted by the Union.
Some outcomes of the mentorship programme were presented at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa 2017 and at the 8th International Convention on Peer Education, Sexuality, HIV & AIDS in June this year. They include:
- Training for 100 management representatives on the business benefits of workplace HIV and wellness programmes – helping to ensure buy-in and commitment to the mentorship process. This also built financial sustainability for programmes raising awareness on the need to set aside budgets for wellness activities.
- Setting up of steering committees and training of 47 Peer Educators to provide peer counselling and create opportunities for discussions on health-related issues at workplaces and communities.
- Workplace education sessions on HIV, STIs and non-communicable diseases that empowered employees to talk openly about HIV: 2 467 employees were sensitised and 1 450 participated in HIV testing and counselling. The Union also used these education platforms to begin discussions on the inclusion of wellness and health clauses in collective bargaining agreements.
- 20 KABP surveys allowing for future monitoring and evaluation of, for example, knowledge transfer and behaviour change.
- Catalysation of networking and dialogues between the Employers’ Organisation and the Union in line with protection of employees’ rights. Additionally, dialogue paved the way for unionisation of workers at some workplaces.