Using words to change people’s worlds
One sure way to improve the prospects for workers and lessen the risk of them falling victim to exploitative practices is to help them with their literacy and communication skills.
To this end, we continued to support the SmartReading programme, an initiative originally launched by the Dubai-based NGO SmartLife in 2016. To date, hundreds of labourers have completed the programme and received a certificate recognising their achievement, dedication and willingness to improve.
Petrofac Cost Control Assistant Jikky Renji, who supports the programme as a volunteer teacher, says:
The SmartReading programme is free-of- charge, opening its doors to anyone who would like to join. As teachers, we are proud to help workers develop these life-changing skills. The initiative also complements the work Petrofac is doing to improve labour rights and worker welfare on our sites.
When workers can read and develop the confidence to question what they don’t understand, they’re better equipped to avoid exploitative labour practices. They also act as role models for other workers and family members to improve their literacy skills.