What have we done?

Vida Viva started in Brazil in 2001 and since then a lot has happened.

Six photo exhibitions, called life stories, were developed. Each tells a story of a worker and his or hers occupational health problems and the consequences for his/her life. A women working in the agricultural sector, for instance, explains how her relationship with her husband changed because she cannot perform any household duties anymore. And a chemical worker shows his damaged skin that makes that he has to wear long-sleeved shirts all day long. Click on the right side of your screen on ‘life stories’ to see them.

Participative action research including workplace mapping has been developed by workers, health specialist and educators. Participative action research offers a tool for workers to research health hazards on their work floor and to develop an action plan to deal with these hazards. The tool is geared towards actual change on the shopfloor. You can download the material that Vida Viva developed in Portuguese, English, French, Dutch and Spanish.
In Brazil this tool has been carried out by 20 educators that were trained by Vida Viva. These educators on their turn trained about 330 local union activists to use this and other methods so that they can implement it in their unions. By means of this triple through system an estimated 3000 union members have received training.

Vida Viva also developed an interactive audiovisual resource called ‘Raio’. This resource consists of 25 short video-clips grouped of four modules and geared towards different audiences like union leaders, rank-and-file members and health and safety activists. The educators and the local trainers use the resource in special training sessions to stimulate discussions, reflect on the several definitions of health and to plan interventions for change on the workplace or in the union. More than 12.000 workers have participated in one or more of these training sessions.

To socialise effective and successful union strategies VidaViva further developed a mechanism to discover, exchange and jointly develop new workplace strategies. A tool serving as a workers oriented benchmarking has been put in place, through which unions exchange workplace problems, discover possible solutions realised by others and develop strategies to fight for those changes.

To spread the word about Vida Viva and to give workers information about health, their rights, the hazards that workers may face and much more several magazines and two cartoon strip are published so far. The strip can be downloaded here.

The Municipal Public Service Workers’ Union of Santa Catarina signed a collective agreement with the municipality for 2006-2007 embracing several clauses reflecting Vida Viva approaches to worker health.

The Metalworkers’ Union of ABC in São Paulo held a national meeting of unions to discuss a national convention on worker safety and health in the use of presses and similar heavy machines.

The Metalworkers Union of ABC in São Paulo negotiated various workplace changes like ergonomic changes, work rhythm and work load.

School teachers in Bahia negotiated successfully the reduction of the number of students and further investments in schools.

Various unions succeeded the first time to negotiate working conditions and to develop special commissions on workers health.
Click here to find leaflets about results of the project

Vida Viva

Education & exchange in Germany

What is Vida Viva about?

Who is involved in Vida Viva?

What have we done?

What can you do?

Do you want to read more?


Vida Viva in Brazil

Background on Brazil’s economy

…and the labour market

Background on stress, work and illness
…and gender
…in Brazil

Background on Brazil’s labour movement
… and industrial relations
… unions and health

Conclusion: unions, work and health

Vida Viva in Mozambique

Vida Viva in Germany


Expo - chemical worker

Choclate factory

Expo-agro workers

Leaflet December 2006

Leaflet January 2007

Leaflet February 2007

Introduction magazine
of Vida Viva

Brochure on work quality

Health & safety guide

Mapping guide English