New programme to enrich family-life and support trauma victims.
The largest employer in the greater Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp region is apple and pear processor, Two-a-Day, a business wholly owned by fruit growers in the area. With more than 2000 people on staff, managing the human resource is an essential part of the business.
According to Dimitri Jacobs, Director: Human Resources at Two-a-Day Group, this year a new
programme of psychological support is underway. “We have approved a R150, 000 investment for the Enrichment Programme which, after deep consultation with our staff and understanding some of the issues they face at home, we hope will improve their lives,” he says.
With a full-time social worker, Carmenita Julies and a clinical psychologist, Willie Hanekom on the team on a weekly basis, the Enrichment Programme aims to meet seven outcomes.
“We know some employees face violence, abuse, dysfunctional family dynamics, and marriage and relationship conflicts at home so our goal is to empower our people to mitigate these negative experiences so they can continue to bring their best selves to work each day,” Jacobs says.
Carmenita Julies explains that the programme is all about preventing or managing the impact of these issues for employees and ultimately for the business. “Employees need to take responsibility for their own lives, while the business on the other hand, can provide support and empower employees to deal with these issues to maximise productivity. This programme is free for staff, confidential, easily accessible and can minimise the stress of searching for a therapist on their own,” she says.
Julies explains that assistance is solution-focussed, and goal-orientated and Two-a-Day can provide connection to other resources, such as legal and financial aid, as needed.
According to Julies, trauma counselling for victims of abuse, rape and gender-based violence is needed. “Our goal is to remove and lighten the impact of trauma to help people return back to a normal level of functioning at work and purposeful living. What is required to achieve this is having a clear understanding of negative past experience and being able to forgive to become a whole person again. It’s never a shame to seek help, but indeed a sign of bravery,” Julies ends.
Two-a-Day also offers free-of-charge clinic services with Dr Anthony Hess having seen more than 717 people this year, more than double the number he saw in 2021. For April alone this year, for example, Dr Hess saw 149 people at the Two-a-Day clinic. However, the clinic as a whole supports a great number more. In 2021, 1575 people sought clinic services but this year that number has already doubled to 3116. And, for the month of April alone this year, 825 people looked to the clinic at Two-a-Day for support.
Dimitri Jacobs says that when one looks at the numbers of people who use the clinic it is greater than the number of employees. “Part of our contribution to the community as a whole is to allow family members of staff to also have access to Dr Hess and clinic services at Two-a-Day,” he ends.
Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing is the largest exporter of South African apples and pears and markets the fruit from Two-a-Day and also from Ceres Fruit Growers. Tru-Cape Managing Director Roelf Pienaar says that increasingly customers are interested in the story behind the fruit and this Enrichment Initiative by Two-a-Day with its potentially wide-ranging and positive impact on communities in the grower region will be of significant interest to them.