News in South Africa
WITS University HIV/AIDS in the workplace Symposium
Four OLIVE LEAF Foundation employees attended the University of Witswaterstrand's HIV in the Workplace Symposium The OLIVE LEAF Foundation 's delegation included Elizabeth Arend (Sustainable Livelihoods Coordinator, Cape Town) and Joshua Ndlela (Port Elizabeth), who are spearheading the company's new wellness programme. They were accompanied by two fieldworkers, including one OVC (Oprhans and Vulnerable Children) fieldworker from Cape Town and a Care and Support fieldworker from Port Elizabeth.
While the symposium examined responses to HIV in the workplace, it included a special focus on wellness programs in low-paid workforces. The OLIVE LEAF Foundation contributed a paper, Challenges in the design of a Wellness Programme and HIV Policy, about its pilot wellness program, which highlighted the particular challenges that arose from its low-paid workforce, its organizational development capacity, culture-bound pressures among its fieldstaff, and HOPE worldwide South Africa's identity as a faith-based organization. The paper also put forward a list of recommendations as to how the program and the company could address these challenges as it continues its efforts to improve staff wellness. According to the symposium's organizers, The OLIVE LEAF Foundation's submission was the only one that arose from an organizaton having examined and reflected upon its own operations.
A version of the paper that was submitted to the symposium will be published in a special issue of the African Journal of AIDS Research in November 2008.
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