At the edge of Lake Ziway—about 100 miles south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa—Aynalem Asmelash oversees a 13-person cleaning team at Afriflora Sher Farms. Sher Farms is the largest rose farm in the world, employing about 15,000 workers who busily tend to the soil, harvest tight-budded flowers and pack uniform bouquets for shipment around the world.
Aynalem has worked at the farm for eight years. In addition to supervising the cleaning of Greenhouse #30, she works with the farm’s safety committee to ensure the welfare of staff. She is also a volunteer peer educator with Marie Stopes International Ethiopia’s “Fit-For-Work” project, with one hour each work day dedicated to informal counseling of other employees on family planning use and methods.