Changing Lives From Within
Hi Santastic Team,
As most of you guys know, I’m on examination leave (German precisely). I have to tell you guys what I have learnt and experienced during the few days that I have not been around. Sanergy is my second home, and every day that passes I miss being at work and I believe this does not happen to many people in other organizations. I believe this is unique to Sanergy because it provides the most conducive working environment there is. My best days are when everybody is in the Mukuru office and it feels like a big family reunion for those three days. I will let you get back to converting shit into gold and I will be seeing you all next week- thanks!
This note, from Samuel Kimani, our Procurement Manager, dropped into everyone’s inboxes last week. Apart from giving us pause to feel the warm fuzzies, it also had us thinking about how we’ve grown from a team of 14 people to over 70 in just 8 months.
And as we grow, we want to make sure that each of these teammates is taken care of. The first step: contracts. 60% of our team is from the Mukuru community and have worked as day laborers. Many have never signed a proper contract. In offering one, they can be sure of a monthly salary, understand their rights and benefits and know exactly what is expected of them.
The second step: good health insurance. As a public health company, we firmly believe in investing in our employees’ health. Again, most have never had proper medical benefits. When an emergency came up in the past, they would have to take loans from sharks or cobble cash from friends, and simply not get paid. Now, as one of our colleagues, Victor, explains, a different narrative happens:
“When I fell ill with malaria, it would have been hard to receive good treatment because I did not have enough money at the time. But with the health insurance, I was able to receive good treatment, and I am now well.” – Victor Omondi, Waste Collection Supervisor
The third step: training. As we’ve documented before, through the support of AMSCO, we provide trainings on topics such as personal finance management. We also spend considerable time training our staff on how to understand a contract, their medical benefits, what it means to be part of the Sanergy culture, and our HR policies.
Finally, the future. A few of our teammates took the initiative to create the Sanergy SACCO – a savings group which enables participants to access larger loans for school fees, a car, or even the down payment on a house. Sanergy also has opened up pension funds for each full-time employee – another small way for them to think about a comfortable and secure life.
Mary Gikonyo, head of HR, works to make sure we are catering to the needs of our growing team. She hit the nail on the head when asked to describe Sanergy:
“Those who join our team are part of the Sanergy family. A family that is forever dissatisfied with the status quo and is always looking for better ways to do things. This stems from a shared desire to simply be “THE BEST” and to make a real difference in the informal settlements.”
Kim, Victor, Mary and the rest of the team are improving the lives of Mukuru’s residents and their own at the same time. This is the Sanergy way.