Share Hope commits to enroll an additional 4,000 women workers in the HERhealth program (a training program on topics ranging from nutrition, sanitation, STI prevention and reproductive health) in four factories in Haiti and an additional 2,000 in the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program, with some workers participating in both programs, reaching a total of 5,000 women workers by 2022.
For the past nine years, Share Hope - an apparel producer in Haiti that sources for global manufacturing companies such as Delta Galil Industries and Jeno Neuman, has dedicated resources to building the apparel sector in Haiti. In order to meet the unmet social needs of workers, five years ago Share Hope began leading a wide range of women’s health and empowerment initiatives in garment factories in Haiti. Share Hope began implementing BSR’s HERhealth program in 2014, and has provided health education to 9,750 female workers in the Haitian garment sector (25 percent of the entire garment workforce) with training modules on basic health issues, including family planning, sexually transmitted infections, personal hygiene, and nutrition, among others. Investing in health education and services for workers in the sector has paid dividends. After receiving training, 98 percent of women in one factory signed up to receive an HIV test, and 81 percent felt their health had improved due to their participation in the program. Share Hope also saw these health improvements translate into business improvements. Due to their better understanding of basic health practice, 87 percent of workers reported taking fewer days off from work because of illness.
Share Hope also runs a Factory Clinic Improvement program to build the capacity of factory clinics and nurses in 12 factories. Because of the work with the factory nurses Share Hope, partnering with Innovating Health International (IHI), was able to educate 6,200 women on gynecological cancers out of which 4,000 women were screened for cervical cancer and 5,200 for breast cancer, all during their work day and at their work sites. In 2018, Share Hope also partnered with Gap Inc. in their commitment to bring the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program (Personal Advancement Career Enhancement) to one million women and girls globally by 2025.
Now, Share Hope is committing to enroll an additional 4,000 women workers with the HERhealth Program (a training program on topics ranging from nutrition, sanitation, STI prevention and reproductive health) program in four factories in Haiti and an additional 2,000 in the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. proram, reaching a total of 5,000 women workers by 2022. Share Hope will aim to reach 2,000 workers in two factories by 2020 and an additional 2,000 workers in two more factories by 2022. Share Hope is committing to invest $75,000 to reach these additional workers and ensure they have access to health information they need to be healthy, productive workers. Share Hope will reach 2,000 women garment workers outside of Gap Inc.’s supply chain by 2022 - work fully funded by Gap Inc.
Share Hope is making this commitment because management expressed a real change in the work environment thanks to HERhealth: “In 32 years working in the garment sector in Haiti, I have never seen anything that has impacted the personal lives of these workers such as the HERhealth program. It is an amazing program,” said Chiller Samedi, Production Manager of a 1,500-worker factory in Haiti.
Co-founder and CEO Cynthia Petterson explained the company’s commitment to women’s health and empowerment, saying, “Investing in workers’ health is one of the best ways the private sector can partner with workers, not just with the factories, empowering the workers to live better healthier lives which leads to greater productivity in every area. Parents that understand how to make the right decisions about their own health, raise healthier children and communities are strengthened."