By Eunice Nabadda
In 2013, I graduated from Makerere University Kampala-Uganda, where I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. After graduating, I joined the banking industry as a Customer Experience Assistant and cashier. I resigned from the bank after having my first child. The main reason was that I failed to get someone I could trust to stay with my son at the end of my maternity leave ( 3 months). I heard so many nanny horror stories, and I didn’t want my son to fall victim. Daycare services were and are still very expensive especially for the low income earners. Because of that, I decided to give up my job and career to look after my children. I have been a stay at home mother now for four years.
During my time as a stay at home mom, I have clearly seen the gaps in the nanny services industry in Uganda. My working friends and I would occasionally meet to talk, but 90% of our conversation would be around the nannies. So I decided to find a solution to the Nanny problem in Uganda that the working parents, especially mothers, are so desperate to solve.
The online course, The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development, offered by the SDG Academy greatly enhanced my knowledge of early childhood development and sparked my deep desire to see that every child gets the best start in life. After taking the course, I composed that poem to summarize the innovation that is only pending implementation.
A Story of a Child Unheard
I awake in the morning,
It is bright outside but darkness all around me.
I await the sweet voice, the warm loving arms,
For the cuddles and kisses, for the smiles.
But my waiting is all in vain.
I raise my voice in a loud cry,
And roarrrr, a lioness comes into the room.
She wears bitterness as her coat,
Her eyes beam with hatred,
Her steps fill me with panic,
And her speech is heart-rending.
I am dirty, my diaper full of poop,
But I will have to stay like this for a long while.
I am hungry but only to be fed on cold milk.
When I stretch to pick a toy and play,
Her stare keeps me in one place
It gets cold, but cannot get a warm cloth over my small body.
I am beaten, I am yelled at for any request I make though a loud cry.
There is no one around to save me,
No one to respond to my cues.
Where is she? The sweet voice, the warm loving arms.
She is gone to get the milk, the diapers,
To buy the food and try secure my future.
But I see it’s all in vain,
If I do not get the best start in my life.
At dusk, agony and ecstasy fill my heart,
As I watch my warm loving arms walk into the dark room.
Her presence lights up my dark world.
Suddenly, the lioness turns to a sheep.
Her head bowed down like a reed,
So gentle, so loving and caring.
The question is, can she remain like this?
My mum is tired.
She cannot notice the bitterness that I have faced.
Even when I cry to stay in her loving arms,
She gives me back to the lioness.
She sees a sheep instead.
The lioness is not to blame.
She has never experienced happiness in her life.
Poverty surrounded her childhood like a hedge,
Love was very far from her.
She cannot give what she did not get.
But I am not alone, the question is,
Who is going to save us?
Where is that heart so loving to see to it that we reach our developmental potential?
Where is the nurturing care?
We are the generation you are counting on to create solutions that will move forward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the next set of goals in 2030.
To answer these questions, I started an initiative for early intervention developed from my deep desire to see that every child gets the best start in life. Nurturing care is what every child needs to survive, thrive, and achieve his/ her full potential that will in the long run alleviate poverty. I am currently looking out for funding to start small. Since I have been out of employment for four years, I have no funds to start off the project. To me every single child we help out of the hands of an unprofessional nanny matters. Please reach out to Eunice Nabadda at email@example.com to learn more about the initiative and get involved.
Eunice Nabadda is a mother of three and advocate for early childhood development and care as a strategy for poverty alleviation in Uganda. She founded an innovation that will provide a good start in life for every child, increase women economic empowerment and self-sufficiency as well as reduce gender based violence (GBV) violence against children in Uganda. She plans to recruit personnel who are qualified in the areas of child development from the different institutions in Uganda.
If you would like to get involved, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.