Over the past five years, BSR's HERproject—an initiative that links multinational companies and their factories to local NGOs to create sustainable workplace programs that increase women’s health awareness—has reached 100 factories, nine countries, and more than 120,000 women. Last week, 30 representatives from NGOs in eight of those countries—Kenya, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Egypt—gathered for the 5th annual HERproject Convening in Bangkok, Thailand.
The focus on this year's Convening was building global network capacity. HERproject staff used the forum to share a new curriculum consisting of one-hour training modules and materials on different health topics designed for factory or farm settings. In return, the NGOs shared best practices for implementing health education trainings in each of their respective countries.
Between the trainings and discussions, the group participated in “energizers," interactive activities designed to motivate and engage all participants. These activities highlighted new ways for peer health educators to "break the ice" with female factory workers during health education trainings.
As the Convening came to a close, new ideas were exchanged and lasting friendships sealed. HERproject Manager Racheal Yeager observed, "This is the first Convening where people seemed more interested in connecting with each other than with BSR staff... that's a good thing. It speaks to the power of collaboration and long-term sustainability for our partners."