2022: The Year of the Staff
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a significant challenge to the Rwandan healthcare system, the economy, and to employees in every sector. At DuHope, our staff and artisans have been tested in ways that no one could have predicted. Despite our staff’s commitment, we have still faced a 30% loss over two years. With so many lockdowns our artisans were not able to produce enough retail to cover business expenses. On paper, it would make sense to expand—something we have been planning to do since 2020. The first two phases of our curriculum is ready to go and expansion would help DuHope recoup the approximately $70,000 in lost income. On paper, this all makes sense. But for our staff, this is not the best way to go.
Over the past several years, DuHope has had to revisit and revise longterm goals, including expansion. Apart from impacting the goals we had for 2020 and 2021, the pandemic has strongly impacted our staff. They are worn down and exhausted by the constant stress of adapting to Covid-19 regulations and at times fluctuation in salary. Though they have managed incredibly well given the circumstances, this flexibility can only be maintained for so long. Recognizing how worn our staff has become, DuHope management has chosen to prioritize their health over expansion.
2022 will be “the year of the staff”. This year, we will build up our staff so that they feel secure in their job, even as the pandemic continues to affect production in the background. DuHope management is also currently conducting a pay scale analysis to ensure that our staff is competitive with its salaries for staff and to provide benefits, such as health insurance.
DuHope strives to maintain a trauma-informed workplace. This means caring for and empowering staff. It means walking through the challenges with them, as opposed to continuing to grow while they get left behind. DuHope is committed to seeing our staff through this period of exhaustion and helping them emerge stronger; therefore guaranteeing the success of our future expansion.