Stellar Foundation is a registered non-profit organisation and public benefit organisation and was established in 2012 as an outflow of Stellar Winery’s fair trade programme. With help from our donors and sponsors, we fund various social economic development projects in our area. Stellar Foundation aims to improve the lives of all labourers on the Stellar Multi-Estate and is set up to manage social and economic development projects on the farms and in the towns and villages near Stellar Winery.
One of the ways we take care of our community is by providing healthcare and safety training at our clinic at Stellar Winery. Our clinic operates under the watchful eyes of our nurse Kim Roux and operations manager Magda Barnard.
For workers and their families on these widespread and sparsely-populated farms, getting to a doctor or clinic can be a challenge. For this reason Stellar’s primary healthcare project was started. With our healthcare projects we aim to educate and provide our communities with the care they need and deserve. The wellbeing of our employees is something that is very close to our hearts at the Stellar Foundation and that is why it is important to us to provide our communities with the necessary healthcare.
“At the clinic we mostly treat minor ailments, like throat or lung infections, but we also do screening for TB and HIV, pregnancy tests and family planning. Once a year the workers also receive a medical exam,” says Kim Roux.
Kim also test the farm workers twice a year to make sure they aren’t exposed to any chemicals. The workers in the cellar and high-noise areas also get regular hearing tests and are informed about the necessary safety precautions.
“Over the past few years I have noticed a change in the community, especially with the men. They are being a lot more vigilant about their health and taking care of their blood pressure, and being tested for HIV,” says Kim.
Currently the fair trade premium funds from Stellar Winery’s wine sold locally and internationally are used to pay for the primary healthcare projects, including Stellar Winery’s psychologist.
Each month Magda and Kim establish themes in line with official health awareness days and months, and communicate the relevant information to the workers on the Stellar Multi-Estate. During March, our clinic at Stellar Winery provided health education regarding TB awareness, the link between TB and HIV, as well as information about flu vaccines, Listeriosis and how to prevent the disease.
Other topics included keys to safer food preservation and preventing foodborne diseases; how to prevent back injuries by using the correct form to pick up objects; and the importance of taking breaks to let muscles rest.
During May, our clinic gave special attention to anti-smoking awareness, to coincide with World No Tobacco Day on 31 May. We educated employees on the dangers of smoking and gave them advice on how to quit. During June we provided health education regarding HIV/AIDS awareness as well as information about alcohol and substance abuse.
Due to the severe drought in the Western Cape and the low dam levels in our area, our clinic staff continue to educate the employees at Stellar Winery regarding safe water practices. Employees are advised to only use boiled water for drinking as water levels in the dam are extremely low and the possibility of contamination is high.
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