$6m program to improve inclusion in Kenya

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Basel/Nairobi, March 4, 2022 - Our Foundation is part of a new $6 million program to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly women, and improve labor rights at two large Kenyan companies.

The Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures was launched today. Funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), it brings together eight Kenyan and global organizations, including NGOs, trade unions, and organizations of people with disabilities (OPDs).

The partners will work with global drinks brands Diageo’s East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Kenya) to embed inclusion and labor rights in the companies’ supply and distribution chains.

The five-year program builds on existing UK aid-funded Inclusive Futures work in partnership with EABL, which gave farmers with disabilities skills and resources to supply sorghum crops, which are essential to brew lager.

Sightsavers’ Kenya country director Moses Chege says that women, people with disabilities and young people often face unequal treatment in work, despite global improvements in labour rights legislation and policy.

He underlines that the program will not only improve inclusion and labour rights for people who are often marginalized, but for everyone working across the supply and distribution chains. Across the two companies, there are estimated to be 47,000 farmers, more than 9,000 people working in distribution, and around 65,000 retailers.

He says, “What we achieve will be used to demonstrate to industries and governments how to improve the employment of people with disabilities and demonstrate how labour rights can be strengthened for everyone.”

Our Foundation will to structure and manage access to quality inputs, advisory services, and markets for sorghum-growing smallholder farmers, resulting in increased output and revenue. This will be accomplished through the Farmer Hub concept, which establishes and enables rural businesses to provide services and products to farmers on a long-term basis. Farmers and agri-entrepreneurs with impairments are included. Syngenta Foundation East Africa Regional Director Lucy Kioko adds: "We have made a concerted effort as an organization to be more diverse and inclusive with our stakeholders, particularly smallholders. This program is in line with our goals, especially in terms of broadening the reach of inclusion and diversity beyond women and youth."

The consortium partners involved in Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures are: Central Organization of Trade Unions Kenya, Equal Rights Trust, Innovations for Poverty Action, Kenya Female Advisory Organization, LINC, Sightsavers, Ulula, and United Disabled Persons Kenya. The program will also be supported by Light for the World and our Foundation.

For more information visit www.inclusivefutures.org/global-labor-program