Faridah Nabukenya, Founder Member of Home Aides Services (HAS)
Getting a professional babysitter or nanny has remained a nightmare to most families in Uganda considering horrifying experiences of torture, neglect and abuse that babies and children have encountered in the hands of such inhumane babysitters.
It is against that background that several mothers have preferred to take care of their own kids despite a busy work schedule rather than leaving them in the hands of horrible nannies. Some mothers have actually resorted to taking their kids to Day Care schools all in the fear of risking the lives of their beloved children.
However, mothers’ prayers could have been answered after a one Faridah Nabukenya, a resident of Kireka, Namugongo Road started Home Aides Services, a professional nanny and trainer agency providing 24 hour home care services in Uganda and East Africa at large. Our reporter, Justine Namara conducted an interview with Nabukenya, the Director General Home Aides Services. Home Aides Services offices are also located in Kireka on Namugongo Road.
Below are the excerpts:
Telesqop: What exactly does Home Aides Services do?
Nabukenya: We specialize in placing highly proficient child care, live-in nannies, daily nannies house keepers, maternity nannies, elderly or sick care takers, kids nannies and aides to take care of people with special needs.
Telesqop: When did you start this agency?
Nabukenya: We started two years ago in 2015 but we were not fully functioning that time. We were still doing research on how to professionally start and we finally opened shop in September 2017. It is when we officially registered and started serious business.
Telesqop: What do you consider while recruiting?
Nabukenya: We call for adverts for people above 18 and we require a minimum academic qualification of S.4 especially for basic nannies. We go up to a Post Graduate level and even Masters in some cases. We do a selection and we do not take anybody who applies as some come with fake documents, so we do thorough scrutiny about their education, criminal records by contacting about 4 of their referees and medical information among others.
Telesqop: How do you monitor your nannies?
Nabukenya: First of all, we call them for training and we train them ourselves. We then go to the particular home to get to know where our person is going and when we feel both parties are good to go, we let the nanny start.
Telesqop: What are the other necessary requirements to apply to train with your agency?
Nabukenya: Like I said, we need academic documents, a well written CV, national Identity Card, medical documents, letter from your LC and we provide an application form which is filled in at our office.
Telesqop: How affordable is it to hire a nanny?
Nabukenya: For a basic nanny it is Shs450,000 per month, these are the ones that take care of babies and do house chores. Shs550,000 per month are for graduates; they can drive kids to school, help them with homework and they don’t have to stay in all the time and can do whatever you need them to do. Then we have those at Shs700,000 per month. These are nannies with good medical background, they can be nurses or psychiatrists, and they can take care of people with special needs like the elderly or children who need special attention. We hire both girls and boys.
Telesqop: How do you pay these nannies?
Nabukenya: We are responsible for payment, constant supervision and all. So our clients pay us and we pay the aides or nannies. Like any other employers we pay taxes so and when we are paid, we pay them ourselves.
Telesqop: What would you do if a nanny gets intimate with their boss?
Nabukenya: These are matters of the heart that are hard to deal with in case both parties have a mutual consent. But in case a situation, we would withdraw the contract and take our aide back but if it is a mutual agreement between the two, we let them to decide.
Telesqop: What are the major challenges you have so far faced in this investment?
Nabukenya: The main challenge is market; people have not yet appreciated these services and also they keep comparing us to the rest of the companies that have done this and the nannies have turned out bad, so people have not yet trusted us so well.
Telesqop: What is your target in the next 5years?
Nabukenya: Our target is to take over the whole of East Africa but so far our clients are still only Ugandans. We are working on how we can get to Rwanda after here. We want to first understand the legalities outside Uganda and then we can open branches there. We also have clients who have hired aides from here and they travel with them outside East Africa but we leave the travel process to the client to handle, we do not take maids outside Africa.