Living Goods supports more than 10,000 community health workers (CHWs) in Kenya and Uganda—the majority of whom are women—to deliver lifesaving medicines, health education, diagnoses, and health products to millions of people who need them. CHWs focus especially on preventing and treating the leading causes of death among children.
In addition to driving health impacts, Living Goods’ approach is a powerful engine for women’s empowerment and economic development, providing them with meaningful supplemental incomes, training, and status within their communities. The Living Goods approach not only empowers women to dramatically improve the health of their communities but also to better their own lives. Approximately 90% of Living Goods-supported CHWs in Uganda and 70% in Kenya are women. They are mothers, grandmothers, farmers, and businesswomen who want to serve their communities and proactively address the essential health needs of their neighbors.
Importantly, CHWs improve the health and livelihood of their family while serving their community and gaining valuable skills and respect, enabling them to secure another job, launch their own small business, or run for political office. For example, in the 2015 election in Uganda, almost 60 Living Goods supported CHWs ran for local office and 15 were elected to local councilor or women councilor roles. Additionally, 95% of CHWs report Living Goods has taught them new skills that will help them get another job or start a business, and 97% report improved status in their communities.
The money CHWs earn, the recognition they receive, and the rewards of serving their communities keep them highly motivated. The positive impact begins with each CHW and extends far beyond them to their families and communities.