By developing a comprehensive strategy based on education, lifestyle choices and counseling, the Dale Foundation helps prevent future outbreaks of HIV/AIDS in Ecuador.
Dole is dedicated to enhancing the communities in which it operates and has implemented a variety of social responsibility (SR) policies that generate sustainable development through social, environmental and economic actions. Since 2005, Dole’s division in Ecuador has worked endlessly in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Through an official launch of its HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, as well as alliances with CARE and UNIVIDA, its efforts have experienced encouraging results.
Eugenia Castro, Executive Director of the Dale Foundation, explains that its HIV/AIDS Prevention Program educates Dole’s workers and their families in order to avoid further spread of the disease. Additionally, the program “strives for the non-discrimination and social inclusion of people living with HIV/AIDS in our [Dole’s] areas of influence.”
As part of the Dole Ecuador framework for social responsibility, the following actions have been implemented:
- Agreement with CARE as part of its UNIVIDA Project from 2007 through 2010. CARE offered technical assistance, while the European Union provided financing in order to implement the Dale Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Program.
- Design and implementation of counseling centers with recruitment and selection of HIV/AIDS counselors that meet UNIVIDA’s defined profile requirements.
- Training of medical staff, nurses, counselors, area coordinators, social workers and administrative staff with specific topics according to their roles and functions.
- Development of the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Strategy, which allows farms and/or communities to be linked with counseling centers.
- Development and implementation of the non-discriminatory HIV Corporate Policy at Dole.
- Participation and recognition of Dole in the “First National and International Meeting for HIV-AIDS Social Responsibility” in which Dole’s prevention strategies were shared with other companies to help change high-risk behaviors.
- Strengthening of the counseling centers and supplying of HIV tests.
- Transferring of Dole’s experiences to other divisions, such as Dole in Peru, as well as to the Ecuadorian Banana Exporters Association.
- Working with persons living with HIV/AIDS.
- Offering of various benefits, including medical screenings, counselor training, guidance for virus-affected individuals and many more.
- Institutional coordination between UNIVIDA, CARE and Dale to support and grow the program.
Obtained results are representative only of the individuals who participated in the Dale Foundation HIV/AIDS Prevention Program from 2007 to May of 2010.