A Strong First Step toward a Healthier Life: Wellness Guides for Migrant Factory Workers in China

China Wellness Guides

"With capable partners on the ground, the future of the Wellness Project seems bright. We look forward to the next phase of this project."October 21st was an exciting and memorable day for Pathfinder’s partnership to promote sexual and reproductive health and well-being among migrant factory workers in Changzhou, China under the China Wellness Project.

Eve Lee, Senior Advisor for the China program, and I were invited to observe project activities in two of the three China Wellness Project factories. We were accompanied by a diverse group of representatives from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, the Asia Foundation China Office, the China Family Planning Association, and the Changzhou Family Planning Commission, as well as the Vice Mayor of Changzhou City, local administrators of the Changzhou Hi-Tech Economic Development Zone, and a team of videographers and photographers.

It was a special celebration to launch the first edition of the Wellness Guide, content for which was developed over two years based on needs assessment and focus group discussions which aimed to capture topics of most importance to migrant factory workers regarding their new lives in Changzhou and their health and wellness.

Each chapter of the Wellness Guide provides basic health information in user-friendly language with sections that outline what one could do to take actions, and where one could find more information and help. The project has received support from the local government, the Levi Strauss Foundation, the crowd-sourcing site Catapult.org, Oxfam Hong Kong, the Pathfinder board, and individual donors.

At the Fujitsu factory, which produces electronic parts, we presented male and female migrant workers with copies of the Guide inside the spacious and refurbished “Wellness House” that the local government financed as a recreation and educational facility for Fujitsu’s workers.

“I would like to have a better life here in Changzhou and help my family,” one 18-year-old female migrant worker told us as she was asked about her goals and dreams.

As she spoke, she broke down in tears, indicating the fragile emotional and mental state many of these rural-born workers are in as they try to find their identities in a new city, struggling with unfamiliar local dialects and fast-paced urban lifestyles.

Eve emphasized that the project is not Pathfinder’s project, but instead the Changzhou people’s project. Pathfinder’s role was only to facilitate the introduction of this new project model and participatory project development—the hard work was really carried out by local partners and a team of academic researchers from Nanjing who provided the data.“I would like to have a better life here in Changzhou and help my family,” one 18-year-old female migrant worker told us as she was asked about her goals and dreams.

The Vice Mayor and the local administrators gave their full endorsement to the project and appreciated the partnership between government, local NGOs, international NGOs, academia and companies as well as international donors and global experts. They vowed to document and publicize this project and its potential for success to other factories, cities, and provinces. The China Family Planning Association has also been promoting the project concept through its nationwide network.

In the back of the Wellness Guide is a pocket that includes a directory of services that guide workers to various referral points for information and services. Those referral points have to be further strengthened to ensure that migrant workers are given good quality of services and relevant information. Young people find it especially tough to discuss sensitive sexual and reproductive health matters with government clinical staff, so youth-friendly services need to be located or established, including at pharmacies and other peer education outlets. The directory will be updated regularly to ensure complete and accurate information.

At the end of the site visit to the Fujitsu factory, I had a chance to interview the Japanese manager, Mr. Toriyama, in my native language. Mr. Toriyama said the project came just at the right time when the factory was struggling with a high turnover rate among migrant workers who could not adjust to their surroundings and did not have a way to seek support. He is very thankful that the Changzhou government has shown such care and concern to his employees through this project, and that there is now open communication with the local administrators as well as service agencies. He repeatedly told me that he is very fortunate to have encountered this project and to have a chance to implement it at his company.

With capable partners on the ground, the future of the Wellness Project seems bright, even when Pathfinder’s technical assistance and capacity building efforts have been intermittent and remote. Pathfinder believes in the power of collaborations and does not intend to open an office in China at this time. We look forward to the next phase of this project, with more documentation of outcomes, packaging of the project model for scale-up, and advocacy for policy change. 

Sono Aibe

Sono Aibe is Pathfinder International's Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

In order to support the body's Health growth capacity in terms of height, it is essential to include an adequate amount of Medical Training calcium in your diet as calcium boosts bone health. Calcium should be eaten in abundance during Training courses adolescence as well as during the adult years. Green leafy vegetables such as chard, spinach and broccoli, child health milk, low-fat cheese, cereals fortified with calcium, oysters and juices are rich sources of calcium. One can also take calcium supplements to fulfill the daily calcium requirement. Dermal Fillers In addition to eating foods abundant in calcium, you should also avoid those foods and Health Care lifestyle habits that cause calcium leaching. This includes avoiding foods high in sodium, those containing artificial sweeteners, coffee and soft drinks. They hinder height growth as they prevent calcium absorption.
Medical Training April 4, 2014
In order to support the body's Health growth capacity in terms of height, it is essential to include an adequate amount of Medical Training calcium in your diet as calcium boosts bone health. Calcium should be eaten in abundance during Training courses adolescence as well as during the adult years. Green leafy vegetables such as chard, spinach and broccoli, child health milk, low-fat cheese, cereals fortified with calcium, oysters and juices are rich sources of calcium. One can also take calcium supplements to fulfill the daily calcium requirement. Dermal Fillers In addition to eating foods abundant in calcium, you should also avoid those foods and Health Care lifestyle habits that cause calcium leaching. This includes avoiding foods high in sodium, those containing artificial sweeteners, coffee and soft drinks. They hinder height growth as they prevent calcium absorption.
Medical Training April 4, 2014
I am glad that you expose this categorie of people. They have rights too and we have too help them with every tool. Especially with something so easy as social media.Pakken.
Pakken April 1, 2014
This blog of yours is so good that I will send it to my colleagues. I’m sure they will enjoy jamorama guitar lessons download
betsy January 31, 2014
You make an excellent point
Carlos danger January 17, 2014
This blog of yours is so good that I will send it to my colleagues. I’m sure they will enjoy it.AngelJackets.com
nicholasjohn12 January 1, 2014
You got skills in your content that totally kills. Keep rolling. angel jackets
angel jackets December 30, 2013
he is very lucky to have experienced this venture and to have a opportunity to apply it at his organization. We look ahead to the next stage of this venture, with more certification of results, appearance of the venture design for scale-up, and loyalty for plan modify. from a mighty student site
takeshi December 11, 2013
Despite institutional denial inside and outside the scientific community regarding the ecological science of human population dynamics, The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population was founded in 2001. Since that moment I have seen it as a moral imperative to continue the work I’ve been doing for many years now: getting the message out and explaining to as many people as possible that human overpopulation of the Earth is occurring on our watch, that it poses profound existential risks for future human well being, life as we know it and environmental health, and that robust action is required starting here, starting now to honestly acknowledge, humanely address and eventually overcome.
Steven Earl Salmony November 12, 2013
Terrific account that also recognizes the importance of local ownership, collaboration, and the importance of data and research. Thank you for sharing this update!
V K November 3, 2013
Scroll to top