Wellbeing in TMP Workplaces
Dr. Margaret Swarbrick identified eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual, and environmental. For trauma survivors, especially those needing long-term healing, having access to a healthy workplace can close a critical gap toward wellbeing.
TMP has focused on Uganda, a country where there are many gaps in the wellness dimensions for people of all ages. At Nguvu Dairy in northern Uganda, 75% of the employees have self-identified as having experienced significant trauma. The World Food Programme estimated in July 2022 that 29% of the children in Uganda are stunted in their growth and 53 percent are anemic and at risk of not reaching their full mental and physical potential. In the Acholi region where Nguvu Dairy operates, the anemia rates are as high as 70%.
That’s where we come in. A stable job at a TMP business such as Nguvu Dairy gives employees the opportunity to move toward economic stability, improve their family’s nutrition, and earn the money needed to pay for schooling – for themselves and their children. We touch on a number of the dimensions of wellness through various workplace initiatives that keep the employee’s wellbeing at the center.
Contributing to Wellbeing at Nguvu Dairy
Consistent, Yet Limited Work Hours
Creating healthy work habits is one desire we have for our employees. In the business world, time is money. While we understand the importance of profitability and business success, we find it essential to include rest in the culture of our companies. We encourage healthy life balance by planning work schedules with days reserved for rest.
With such high levels of food insecurity amongst households in northern Uganda where Nguvu Dairy is located, chronic malnutrition in children is a critical issue. The negative impacts of food insecurity on our employees and their families cannot be understated. That is why TMP found it important to support them, separate from their pay, with daily food stipends. This helps ensure that while they tend to the financial needs of their families, they have access to basic nutritional needs while at work.
All of Nguvu’s managers receive training in understanding the impact of trauma on a person’s behavior and relationships. Rather than feeling silenced, the workplace creates many opportunities for employees to learn that they have a voice and are invited to express their needs. TMP believes that a workplace that affirms the dignity of each person, encourages workers to “find a place” on the team, and invites each worker to express their creativity will bring lasting healing and restoration.
“Today if you talk to the community, people will talk about the trauma healing program [at Nguvu Dairy]… Workers are now sharing their problems with others as a result of trauma healing training. As a result of the trauma healing program, families of the salespeople are [living] in peace.”
– Facilitator, Trauma Healing Program
Here at The Market Project, we seek to promote the physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing of each person employed by one of our businesses. Organizations that expand the ways they support their employees’ wellbeing, in turn, support their recovery.
Read more about how The Market Project Stands in the Gap for survivors of complex trauma, trafficking, and exploitation, and join us in the movement to build healing workplaces.
 Swarbrick, M. (2006). A wellness approach. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29(4), 311–314.