We’re taking a look at some of the notable organizations that are supported through the Levi Strauss Foundation. These longstanding partners are more than grantees – they are invaluable resources to their communities and in the countries where we make our products.
Our Worker Well-being (WWB) initiative is central to how we do business, drawing on support from suppliers and local organizations to implement programs that protect and empower the people who make our products.
And making this work possible in Vietnam is the Centre for Promotion of Quality of Life, or LIFE Centre. Over the last decade, the Levi Strauss Foundation (LSF) grantee has helped us deliver worker health, financial and family wellbeing initiatives to the factories where we operate. Additionally, LIFE Centre supports factories to monitor their progress and devise strategies to further integrate WWB into their operations.
We spoke with Trang Nguyen, founder and executive director of LIFE Centre, to learn more about what her nonprofit is doing to enhance the quality of life for apparel workers in Vietnam.
The Levi Strauss Foundation has supported LIFE Centre since 2007. What have been the biggest changes in workers’ rights and well-being over the years?
The Worker Well-being initiative supports workers in many ways, ranging from understanding the Vietnam Labor Code to knowing how to use existing laws to negotiate labor contracts, working hours and wage increases. WWB also enables apparel workers, particularly women, to improve understanding of their health, resulting in reduced work absences. Moreover, through WWB, workers acquire important life skills such as communication and conflict management strategies, which are helpful at work and in life.
What is the most important resource LIFE Centre offers workers?
LIFE Centre implements dynamic and engaging on-site worker programs, on topics such as health and financial literacy. These programs, delivered in factories across Vietnam, equip apparel workers with critical information and skills.
Since 2017, LIFE Centre also provides technical assistance to management at participating WWB factories, helping them to develop strategies and train internal ambassadors that act as champions for worker needs. We believe these are essential steps to ensure that WWB will be sustained as part of the factory’s core operations.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my work is knowing that LIFE Centre brings about positive changes and tangible improvements to apparel workers’ lives and factories’ business operations. If our work can make people healthier and more engaged, we know that factories will also be more productive – this connection inspires me every day.
LS&Co. goes beyond labor compliance to care for our workers and their communities. To learn more about how we’re advancing worker’s rights and well-being around the world, check out our other LSF grantee, the Central American Women’s Fund.