Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is the third sustainable development goal defined by the United Nations. The Roman Poet Virgil also said once that “The greatest wealth is health.” At Artisans Angkor, we have made our priority the well-being and health of our artisans, as well as fair working conditions.
Our last project relates to our silk weavers, as they sit behind traditional looms 6 to 7 hours a day; in order to reduce the risks of muscular pain, Artisans Angkor implemented the Weaving Easy Project in August: it will run until April 2018, and has two main objectives:
A training is currently being done for all the 211 silk weavers, which were divided in 20 groups. We worked with a physiotherapist doctor on posture and got recommendations on adequate training actions. This doctor is also providing an individual health checking for 100% of our weavers.
In addition, we have designed 2 gymnastic programs: the first one consists in simple exercise to do regularly during working time (soft movements to ease the muscles) and the other one is a longer body stretching program, to be done during breaks. A professional gymnastic teacher – Mrs. Catherine Sauvaget - already started delivering this training in our silk farm (130 sessions planned in total).
At the end in April, we will select one representative from each group to receive a TOT (Training of Trainers). These representatives will lead their group members to make sure that the exercises and good posture are followed on a regular basis, and recommend to make frequent short breaks every 50 to 60 minutes to stretch and change of position.
To reinforce the positive results of the trainings, we designed an appropriate cushion and provided one to each weaver to sit on.
We are also working on a newly designed ergonomic chair for our weavers, to replace the bench. A prototype is currently being tested, and we will soon be able to provide all silk workshops with these chairs!