Empowerment for Textile Workers

102_3678Solisyon Kominote Yo works with textile workers from Codevi, a family-owned textiles company which employs 11,000+ people. Through our support with the Levi Strauss Foundation, Solkomyo ran a financial literacy program and an access to technologies program.

Financial Literacy

In 2014, Solkomyo ran the first phase of its comprehensive financial literacy initiative to over 400 workers, which teaches workers about household finances and encouraged direct savings through an innovative voucher system implemented within the factory.

The goal of this Financial Literacy course is to equip the workers with the knowledge and tools necessary to make educated financial decisions. By analyzing how they are spending their money they can therefore learn to prioritize their spending. The second training session focus is on learning and applying saving strategies and debt management strategies.  Each training session is followed up by post training actions and support. For every learning module and practice activity, workers receive a voucher, which they can either deposit into their savings account or cash it. If they deposit it in their savings account, it is matched up to a certain limit. Until now, 97% of workers have chosen to deposit their vouchers in their savings accounts.

Since 2014, over 800 workers have graduated from the program and 10 workers have been trained to become trainers. Solkomyo continues to work with the trainers to provide trainings within Codevi and the surrounding communities.

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Impact

  • 2300+ workers were interested in participating 750+ graduated from the course
  • 98% interested in saving
    $15,000+ dispatched in matched savings
  • 10 workers became trainers and have thus far trained 270 workers – the program is ongoing
  • The trainers created a community savings bank, collectively saving the equivalent of 10 months’ salary in 6 months.
  • 91% of the course participants said their opinion about CODEVI as their employer improved as a result of the course.
  • 79% of workers who participated in the financial literacy program believed they could save more money in the next six months compared to 44% of workers who did not participate in the program.
  • 84% of workers who participated in the financial literacy program keep a personal budget compared to 47% of non-participants.
  • Course participants believe they have mechanisms to save money and a more stable financial situation

 

Access to Technologies

Solkomyo partnered with the Levi Strauss Foundation to provide the textile workers living in Ouanaminthe with high-impact, critical technologies like solar lamps, cooking-stoves and water filters to help them improve their well being, and productivity. These technologies are available for purchase through a payment plan that gives the textile workers the ability to afford these critical products.

How does it work?

CODEVI’s Savings Plan team takes orders from workers and after processing the orders, they start deducting small amounts from workers’ salary, on a weekly basis for a period of 4 to 8 weeks. Immediately after the deduction started, the employees can go to Solisyon Kominote Yo’s office in the community and pick up the product they ordered. In this way the workers are improving their living conditions and start saving even before they finish paying for the product. Moreover, by using the multiple payments system, the financial stress is minimized.

Impact

96% of interviewed workers believe the cost-saving products offer them tangible benefits. The most often cited benefits by workers included cutting costs, saving energy, and improving health.

Money saved by using the cost-saving products is often used for…

  • Saving in case of losing job (35%)
  • Paying debt (18%)
  • Covering unexpected medical costs (15%)
  • Getting more education (13%)
  • Home construction (13%)

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“We cut expenses. We charge the lamp with sunlight, so we don’t pay electricity or buy as much kerosene. The money I save by using the solar lamp I put it in my CODEVI’s saving account.” –Program participant.

“My girlfriend and my children use the solar lamp for studying at night. The lamp also protects us from fires because they not longer need to use candles or kerosene lamps.” –Program participant.

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