The CHABAHIVA Trust supported the Field Band Foundation (FBF) during 2017 and 2018 to facilitate the establishment of a relevant and appropriate Workplace Wellness Programme in the organisation. This added value to both employer and employees through creating a work environment where employees were well informed on HIV, AIDS and other debilitating diseases, and enabled to make informed choices. That built trust in the organisation and lead to an increased understanding of their own health risks followed by increased health seeking behaviour at the Field Band Foundation.
This further improved the organisations’ competence to support the well-being of FBF members and to implement HIV projects, for example the HIV Peer Educator projects.
In 2017 the focus was on the head office as well as a selected number of nearby Field Bands. In 2018 the programme was extended to all employees of the FBF.
The project started in 2017 with a Health Risk assessment and three workshops were facilitated to selected groups of employees with the aim to develop a wellness policy for the organisation. This process was supported by 6 memos (newsletters) addressing health related matters. Employees were given opportunities for health screenings (including HCT) – with 60 employees participating. Furthermore, psychosocial counselling services were made available for employees. The need for this was confirmed, seeing that employees made use of this opportunity to get counselling. A variety of psychosocial issues were addressed and referrals to other professional organisations were made.
Although the health policy was not finalised and signed on the date planned, the programme already made a significant impact in the organisation in the first year.
The WWP continued in 2018 on the basis that was laid in 2017. More time was given for the organisation to take ownership of the programme. Although the FBF leadership embraced the programme from the beginning, not all employees were initially enthusiastic about it. This was demonstrated in the challenges to find someone to be the WWP champion. However, a WWP champion was identified and appointed in 2018.
WWP newsletters were again distributed in the organisation in 2018 and focussed on topics that were identified through the surveys. The WWP Committee met twice to plan activities and objectives for 2018 and to bring the programme to all employees. The programme endeavoured to reach all employees and there was also a broadening of the scope of the programme.
Psychosocial counselling was made available to employees through the WWP and there were several individual counselling sessions by Wanda Olivier. There was indeed a need for such a service.
The Workplace Wellness Programme was in 2018 enhanced through aligning and combining activities with other similar projects in the FBF that were funded by other funders. For example: surveys were combined; 3 workshops on sexual harassment and 3 workshops on the Children’s Act formed part of the WWP but were funded by Ceramic Foundation; a first aid training course for WWP participants was funded by a donation by the late Mr Bertie Lubner; during the National Championship HCT and wellness screenings were made available (funded by the National Department of Arts and Culture) and people present were motivated by the HIV Peer Educators to access these services.
The cooperation of the CHABAHIVA Trust with the FBF through these projects demonstrated a cooperation of churches and businesses. The mutual concern for the health and well-being of children and young adults in communities with HIV motivates a successful partnership.