New $7 million Inclusive Futures programme launched

March 2022
A woman leans on crutches as she feeds a cow.
Jeniffer, a farmer with a disability, grew sorghum as part of a UK aid-funded pilot project which is being expanded with funding from USAID.
© East African Breweries Limited

A new Inclusive Futures programme aims to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly women, and improve labour rights at two large Kenyan companies.

The Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and is a collaboration of nine Kenyan and global organisations, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions and organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs).

Rosarie Tucci, Director of USAID’s Center for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance said: “Workers today face significant attacks on their rights, including exclusion and discrimination, restrictions on freedom of association, and violations of decent work standards, among other challenges. COVID-19 has worsened the situation for many workers and their families. This moment calls for stronger and more robust support from all those who support workers rights.

“USAID is excited about the Inclusive Futures project because its unique approach will advance many of our other democracy and development objectives, in addition to inclusion and labor rights.”

The consortium of partners will work with two global drinks brands – Diageo’s East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Kenya) – to embed inclusion and labour 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.  

The programme aims to not only improve inclusion and labour rights for people who are often marginalised, but for everyone working across the supply and distribution chains. Across the two companies there are estimated to be 47,000 farmers, more than 9,000 people working in distribution and around 65,000 retailers. 

Sightsavers’ Kenya country director Moses Chege said that women, people with disabilities and young people often face unequal treatment in work, despite global improvements in labour rights legislation and policy. 

He said: “What we achieve will be used to demonstrate to industries and governments how to improve the employment of people with disabilities and demonstrate how labour rights can be strengthened for everyone.” 

The Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures consortium is led by Sightsavers and includes partners: BBC Media Action, Central Organization of Trade Unions Kenya, Equal Rights Trust, Innovations for Poverty Action, Kenya Female Advisory Organization, LINC, Ulula and United Disabled Persons of Kenya. The programme will also be supported by Light for the World and The Syngenta Foundation.

From field to pint: how farmers with disabilities are leading an inclusive business revolution

The Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures builds on a UK aid funded programme in partnership with East African Breweries Limited which gave farmers with disabilities skills and resources to supply sorghum crops, which are essential to brew lager.  In this podcast episode, hear more about the programme and the challenges the farmers faced.

Listen to the episode