When we’re sipping on a steamy cup of rooibos tea, our minds may be focused on a variant of things. What we need to get done in the day, what we may be avoiding getting done, why the weather can’t be summer all the time or perhaps even wondering how that aunt you know drinks about seven cups of tea a day is doing.
Our minds don’t always drift toward the people behind the tea. The tea heroes bring us a brief cup of soothing relief.
The farmworkers on the rooibos farms may not always be at the forefront of our minds, but they’re definitely the contributors to the cup we lovingly hold in our hands. However they should be in thought, and for an international tea company, Twinings, and NPO The Pebbles Project, they were.
The Pebbles project and UK-based tea company Twinings have teamed up in a collaborative effort to ensure that some rooibos agricultural workers are kept healthy.
Their brainchild is a mobile health clinic that will support around 800 farmworkers and their children in the Clanwilliam and Citrusdal areas, where Twinings sources tea according to GoodThingsGuy.
The mobile health service will provide:
- wellness screenings,
- routine health check-ups,
- primary healthcare support,
- health and wellness workshops
- over-the-counter health products.
- Health workshops will be presented on topics such as family planning, maternal health, hygiene, TB and HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and lifestyle diseases.
The project largely falls in movements with Twining’s Sourced with Care programme, a responsible sourcing programme of resources, of which rooibos tea farms are part of that collective.
Pebbles Project, on the other hand, has long been concerned with providing support to matters such as health, nutrition, community service and social protection. Their focus has long been on children in farming communities in the Western Cape who largely do not have access or opportunities toward health services. They know that the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the agricultural communities of the Western Cape are shaped by their challenging circumstances. Services like healthcare which, many of us take for granted, are a luxury for them when they should be a given.
Thanks to Pebbles Project’s many initiatives, necessities are been allocated where they should.
They’ve been in the business of kindness for quite some time too, 17 years to be exact.
For Sophia Warner, the CEO of the Pebbles Project, the lack of access to quality healthcare poses a major challenge for those working and living in farming communities in remote areas that they’ll be focusing on, such as Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, where Twinings sources indigenous South African rooibos tea.
“Many farmworkers do not receive regular health check-ups or receive the medical attention or information that they need in time, and consequently suffer risks of more serious health conditions that could have been prevented if treated earlier. Lack of knowledge and information can also contribute to health challenges which can impact on the individual’s ability to work and care for their family,” says Warner.
“The goal of the project is to enable rooibos tea farmworkers to take control of their health and to receive the medical support that they need. The service will be managed by Sr. Lenay Zimri, who has nine years of experience in community health and a deep passion for the upliftment of the community. Office space for the project and secure parking for the vehicle has been generously provided by Rooibos Ltd in Clanwilliam.”