OUR BABY CARE PROGRAM
- Published: Friday, 14 September 2018 10:59
How much does your children’s security mean to you? How much are you willing to sacrifice to ensure that your children always put up those big smiles on their faces? These are run through my mind, how much parents sacrifice to ensure that their children are happy but mostly want to ensure that 24/7 all day all year long their children are safe and as far away from danger as possible.
This is no different to the parents of Mukuru slums. They too want their children as safe as possible, so they are able to work, take care of them and hustle for them. Bringing up children is a difficult task, ensuring they do right by the society; embrace the good values and turn out to successful people is what each parent aspires to do. But brining up children in the slums is more difficult considering all the dangers they are exposed to example: drugs, rape, violence, crime life etc. These are dangers that parents have to be extra careful with.
Ruben Centre in the year 2013 opened up a baby care unit to help parents in the Mukuru slums keep their children safe as they go on and about their daily routines. Due to too much insecurities in the community parents were afraid of living their young children alone .Without someone to take care of them, so most mothers opted to stay at home and take care of their children. With this baby care it empowered the mothers to go look for work and fed for their families without solely depending on their husbands who don’t always go to work.
The baby care takes children from the age of 7 months to 3 years and a half. The children are brought in from 6:40 am to 6:00 pm every day from Monday to Friday; the parents have to also pay a fee of thirty Kenyan shillings. The baby care provides porridge for the children during the 10 O’clock break but the parents provide lunch for their children.
These parents coming from the slums do face challenges with ensuring that they have paid their thirty shilling fee. Some parents are not able to accompany their children with lunch and changing diapers let alone afford the fee. Though the care givers don’t turn these children away, they take them in and look for ways to feed them and ensure they have a changing diaper when time presents itself.
We cannot forget the benefits that the baby care unity has brought. It has created empowerment to the mothers of Mukuru slums and has made them believe that anything they set themselves to do is possible and they should not give up on themselves and their families. It has also been a source of employment to the caregivers of the children, they are able to feed and educate their children through the baby care unit.