"I have decided to take good care of my health and that of my family by eating a balanced diet as well as spreading the information to anybody I meet."
Across our supply chain in Kenya, we are supporting people like Josefine to get the right knowledge on essential health issues from reproductive rights to family planning, so they can live an empowered life.
Increasing health awareness for women in Kenya
We’ve partnered with BSR since 2015 to deliver the HERhealth project to smallholder farmers and tea workers across our supply chain in Kenya. HERhealth trains peer health educators to raise awareness of essential issues among women workers. To date, we’ve reached over 7,000 women farmers and workers. These services not only help women, like Josefine, to be healthier, but provide greater security for them and their families.
Women workers and farmers in Kenya often have limited awareness of health issues, such as reproductive health and family planning, sexually transmitted infections, menstrual hygiene, pre- and post-natal care, nutrition and non-communicable diseases. They also have little access to key health services.
Josefine, a Kenyan tea farmer in central Kenya, is a widow with seven children. Looking for ways to help her manage, Josefine was keen to learn and to help others do the same, and so became a peer health educator for HERhealth.
“I feel grateful and lucky having attended all HERhealth training topics which has opened my eyes to take health related issues with the seriousness that it deserves.”
The PHEs participate in a series of training sessions in the workplace. Once trained, they share their knowledge with other workers, farmers, friends and family.
So far, we have seen significant improvements in use of family planning methods, awareness of HIV transmission from mother to child and access to medical facilities. In addition, farms have observed less absenteeism, increased productivity and better worker/management relationships.
“I disseminate the information to anybody I meet and is willing to listen to me I will not tire from disseminating the message.”
We continue to support HERhealth across our supply chain in Kenya, and aim to reach 40,000 women by end of 2020.
In addition, Twinings has been partnering with producers, BSR and UN Foundation to advocate the importance of investing in women’s health in the workplace and co-hosted workshops in Kenya to encourage producers to integrate the approach within their own systems and procedures and for other brands to start addressing the issue in their supply chains too.
"HERproject is a collaborative initiative that strives to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. As part of Twinings' commitment to support women and girls, we partnered with the company to deliver workplace trainings to increase health awareness and access to health services for female employees at tea plantations in Kenya. Given the success of the pilot, we look forward to scaling up our impact with tea plantations and smallholder farmers in Twinings' Kenyan supply base."
Christine Svarer, HERproject Director - BSR