Located just steps away from our factory in Egypt, in the center of the farm, is a general store where employees, locals, and visitors can purchase staples for the week at a fraction of the retail price.
While visiting I noticed that every Wednesday, like clockwork, many of the factory workers would gather their cloth bags and head out to this general store, returning with bags of fresh organic produce. I asked Konstanze Abouleish, who oversees our sewing facility — what was so special about Wednesday?
Konstanze excitedly told me that they were spending their “Miza.”
“Okay…what is Miza?” I asked.
“It means ‘advantage,’ she replied. “We want to encourage everyone to eat healthy and be able to afford organic produce, so we devised a program where everyone earns Miza points in addition to their salary. They can use the Miza to purchase organic produce that is grown right here on the farm. We have an online ordering system where they put in their orders and then Tamer, who is the store manager, prepares the orders and has it ready for pick-up the following Wednesday. Everyone has the advantage of eating organic because it’s totally free.”
Pictured: Tamer preparing orders for the week.
“Also, along with the Miza point system, we offer weekly educational meetings at the factory where we discuss why it’s important to eat healthy and how everyone can improve their overall health through eating plenty of fresh produce, exercising, and other activities. The program goes hand in hand with educating the workers and providing them with healthy options. It’s a win-win for the community and for us.”
Pictured: Mohamed Mustafa, our IT guy and my friend Soha bringing their veggies home for the week.
Konstanze went on to explain that they even made organic cotton produce bags at the factory and distributed them while describing the harm in using plastic bags.
“We always incorporate a lesson along with what we are trying to accomplish, and it’s so rewarding to see the changes that people are making in their own lives, as well as the positive influences they are having on their family members and friends. It’s exciting to see that a simple program like this has such a positive impact.”
And with that, I grabbed my personalized cloth bag and headed to the general store to pick up some fresh produce.
This is just another example of how our partner farm in Egypt is changing lives for the better.
Under the Nile Founder