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$6 million programme to improve inclusion at Kenya drinks brands

Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures announcement

Written by Ulula

March 4, 2022

We are excited to announce that Ulula is part of a new $6 million programme 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 on Friday 4 March. The programme is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and is a collaboration of eight Kenyan and global organizations, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions and organizations of people with disabilities (OPDs).

The consortium of 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 programme 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 states that women, people with disabilities and young people often face unequal treatment in work, despite global improvements in labor rights legislation and policy.

Chege says that the programme will not only improve inclusion and labor rights for people who are often marginalized, but for everyone working across the supply and distribution chains. Across the two companies here 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 labor rights can be strengthened for everyone.”

Ulula’s role in the programme will be to leverage its platform and expertise to design a digital solution that shares information with workers about their labor rights and enables them to raise complaints safely when their labor rights are violated. As a global technology and analytics company, Ulula has successfully designed, deployed and managed human rights risk management programs across sectors in over 30 countries in over 40 languages to date. By using multilingual and multichannel – online and offline – communication on mobile phones, Ulula’s tools are designed to be accessible for all groups regardless of language, literacy level, location, or physical ability.

Alex Nguyen, Ulula Program Manager and Ulula lead on the coalition says, “We’re thrilled to join our seven partners and work together to bring about real change for workers in Kenya. Ulula’s technology can help provide accessible avenues for workers to access rights-based information about their employment and entitlements while notifying key decision-makers in the supply chain about labor rights risks as and when they arise, reported by the workers and farmers themselves.”

The consortium partners involved in the 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 programme will also be supported by Light for the World and The Syngenta Foundation.

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

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