Hivos website

Photo: Cynthia Matonhodze

The chainthat connects us

An intimate look into the lives of female flower
pickers in Zimbabwe

Often an image is more powerful than words. That’s why we decided to visually document the daily lives of female flower pickers on farms outside Harare, in Zimbabwe. The photos provide a look behind the scenes at women who do unskilled, low-paid jobs at the flower farms. The Hivos Women@Work campaign brings together various stakeholders from the entire horticulture supply chain. They advocate and share best practices for better working conditions for the flower pickers. Many women in the horticulture supply chain face exploitation and violation of their rights. Because they are only at the beginning of a larger supply chain, it is difficult to protect, let alone improve, their labor rights.

Raising awareness for labor conditions

Hivos strives for a world where women are economically independent and have decision-making power. In the photo exhibition, “The Chain that Connects Us”, Hivos raises awareness about the labor conditions of women in the horticulture sector. The photos take us on a journey through the lives of Roselyn, a single mother of four and her family’s main breadwinner, and of Rekina, a widow who is also the main income provider for her two sons. The photos are currently on display at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be exhibited in other locations in the Netherlands next year. 

Rekina's story through the lens of Cynthia Matonhodze

Cynthia Matonhodze captures a day in the life of Roselyn 

Roselyn Ngona (42), a general worker at Running Dog Nursery and Pottery farm, works in the farm’s grading shed. She is a single mother of 4 who lives in a one-roomed house.

Workers become photographers

Not only did we make portraits of the women at the Running Dog Nursery and Pottery Farm. We also gave a number of them a disposable camera to visualize their lives themselves.

Mary Kambo, Program Advisor at the Kenya Human Rights Commission, was present at the opening of the photo exhibition and explained the importance of paying women a living wage. “Paying a living wage goes a long way in restoring human dignity for workers,” she explained. “Every society that is grounded on the principles of fairness and decency must pay their workers a living wage."


The exhibition is part of the five-year Women@Work campaign. It is implemented together with 25 partner organizations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through the campaign, collaborations with civil society organizations, businesses, governments, trade unions, certification bodies, research institutions, media and citizens aim to improve the labor conditions of women employed in the global horticulture value chains of flowers and vegetables.