Current Projects

Westfalia Avo

  • ABET (Welgevonden Farm) – The project entails teaching adults who have never been to school or have not acquired a Matric certificate, basic numeracy and literacy.  The statistics of illiteracy at Welgevonden farm were higher than any other farm, according to the profiling conducted.
  • Wellness Programme – The project aims to alleviate the impact of the high cost of medicine and health services provided to the farm workers by subsidizing the total cost thereof.  A total of 400 patients per month are serviced at a rate of R35 per visit, including medication.  The centre operates as a Primary Heal Clinic with scheduled weekly visits by a doctor for treatment of conditions beyond the scope of the clinic.  Illnesses treated by the clinic range from cold and flu, hypertension, diabetes, skin conditions and asthma.
  • Refurbishment of Community Hall (Quantock) – This project is aimed at upgrading the existing facilities which is no longer conducive to be used.  The hall is used by the farm workers to hold meetings and other recreational activities.  However, the physical structure has deteriorated to such an extent that the workers hold meetings outside.
  • School & Worker Transport (Everdon) – The proposed project is the subsidising of transport for farm workers children (age 5-12) to and from school.  There are 26 children that require transport on a daily basis to schools in and around Howick.  We also would like to transport farm workers to and from clinics and hospitals in the Howick and Pietermaritzburg area of KZN.
  • Crèche and Clinic Workers Transport – The proposed project is the continuation of the current crèche transport project with an added benefit of transporting the sick employees referred to the hospitals by the clinic.  This service will no longer be outsourced but the crèche as a registered NPO will purchase and manage the bus on behalf of the employees.
  • Crèche Feeding Project (Everdon) – This project is aimed at supporting a healthy eating programme for the children attending the crèche who are from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The children will receive nutritious meals for the whole day that they are at the crèche.
  • Wellness Event – We have invited all the employees of Westfalia to join in a Fun/Health day filled with lots of activities aimed at promoting health and wellness of employees and their families, through sport and recreation.  This is an event that Westfalia intends running annually.  Every year we will focus on different ‘theme’.  This year the theme is ‘Getting Fit to be Healthier’.  With the Employee Wellness Day, the employees at all occupational levels will be engaging in activities that promote interaction within diverse groups whilst enhancing the wellbeing of every participant.

 

Past Projects

Westfalia Avo

  • Needs Profiling of Workers – Gathering of psycho-social and economic information of employees on all the farms supplying Waitrose markets.  The information will be used in the development of a database and to inform project need identification processes.
  • Clinic Upgrade – The upgrading of the current clinic emanates from an increasing demand from the employees for a better health care and adequate facilities.  The rate of HIV infection is increasing despite the wellness programme that is currently in place.  This could be attributed to a lot of things such as beliefs, values and lifestyles.
  • Training of Worker’s Committee – The training of Westfalia Workers’ Committee is a growing need since Westfalia Fruit Estates became Fairtrade certified. Development needs have been identified and resources available through The Waitrose Foundation and Fairtrade premiums to implement development projects.  Training of the Committee is an area which needs to be intensified because members of the Joint Body have assumed more project management responsibility on behalf of the employees.  an integrated approach to development is the frame of reference from which projects are identified, implemented and managed to ensure sustainability.
  • Capacity Building Women – Sewing Project – Skills training for the women involved at the Arts and Culture projects. Unemployed women who are the spouses of Westfalia employees have started a self-help project which was supported by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in 2007.  The activities of this project include sewing, bead work, textile painting and cultural dancing.
  • Equipment for ABET Programme – ABET – is an adult education and training programme aimed at improving the numeracy and literacy levels of individuals.  This programme is facilitated on a daily basis with Westfalia employees who have enrolled.
  • Arts & Crafts Project – An arts & craft project aimed at equipping unemployed partners of Westfalia farm workers with skills that will enable them to earn a living from the sale of the products made.  This project has demonstrated a remarkable improvement since 2010 and more market opportunities are opening up.
  • Tzaneen School Debate Project – Three grade 11 learners from the local farm school from Westfalia came 3rd in the Limpopo Province English Debate Competition where 50 schools participated.  These learners, irrespective of their poor and disadvantaged background managed to perform exceptionally well.  The learners were invited to participate in the finals which was held in Cape Town from 6 – 8 October 2010.  Since the parents of these learners are farm labourers at Westfalia, they could not afford to carry the flight and accommodation costs for the learners to attend.  As a result, the parents asked the Workers Committee to assist.  The Workers’ Committee fully supported this initiative by using the Fair Trade premium in the their account to support the trip and delayed the implementation of one of the projects for which the money was allocated, pending the outcome of the other fund raising efforts.
  • Debit & Credit Management Training for Seasonal Workers – The proposed project’s objective is to assist and equip workers with debt and credit management skills.  The recent credit crunch has put a lot of financial burden on the normal family unit due to loss of jobs as companies closed down and spouses lost jobs.  Some families rely on a single income, mostly leading to debt accumulation in an attempt to make ends meet.  Ninety percent of the general workforce especially general labourers have over committed themselves financially, which led to garnishee orders being instituted by the course instructing the company to deduct from employees’ wages.  This has become a serious concern because some employees show signs of depression due to frustration related to debt.
  • Institutional Support & Liaison – The objective of this project is to provide institutional strengthening and support to the Workers Committee ensuring that new and current projects remain sustainable.  The key outcomes of the project will include a review of the needs identified, analysis, compilation of project proposals, implementation of projects, monitoring and evaluation and reporting to The Waitrose Foundation and Westfalia management.
  • Garment Making Project – The object of this project is to equip the female employees with garment making skills which they can use to start their own small businesses when their contracts of employment come to an end.  They can also make clothing for their own families.
  • Skills Development Project – The proposed intervention is a 5 day bridging course covering the fundamental principles of each skills trade, which the learners lacked due to a lack of prior exposure and low literacy level.  Although training is in process, it is clear that the trainees are struggling to keep up wit the teachings as a result of the gap.
  • Winter School & Holiday Programme – This project is aimed at engaging the Tzaneen school children constructively during the winter holidays through fun, vocational, coaching, outdoor and educational activities.