Meeting rural families under a tree
The first workshop in Kasese took place at the foot hills of Mountain Rwenzori at a heath care center. Mothers and fathers coming from different rural neighborhoods were already sitting under a big tree, waiting for the workshop to begin.
Many of the mothers came along with their babies, which made it very convenient as they demonstrated the local methods to carry them using one or more pieces of cloth. Some considerations of Kasese people, Bakonjo, differed from Luos especially due to the topography consisting of hills and the weather conditions. With the questions leading the open discussion, we talked about the realities of baby carrying, and the challenges brought by long hours of work with the baby on the back.
The discussion was followed by mothers and fathers trying some of our carrier prototypes on and giving feedback. By the end of the workshop, registered midwives and clinical officers developed an idea of starting to include baby carrying education within the health care and community programs.
Insights from a sales person
After having heard from the parents about how they buy the carriers, we were curious to learn about the experiences of a sales person as well. With the opportunity to visit the weekly open market, we could find all sorts of second hand pieces of cloth in different sizes for covering and carrying babies. The sales person gave the insights on the considerations of her customers and what she advices them to buy according to their needs. During this market research, we could also see a lot of women shopping or selling items carrying their babies on the back.
Urban mothers and fathers
Hosted by the local health care center, our second workshop was held with mothers living in the urban part of the city. In addition to the mother’s perspective and experiences, nurses of the center came along with their expertise and told about the impact of mistakes in baby carrying on the health of the child and the mother.
When finishing up with the morning mothers group, urban fathers had already gathered for the coming workshop. The discussion revealed fathers’ less involvement in baby carrying due to culture.
Young child’s voice on baby carrying
As the workshops continued whole day, a ten year-old girl had been carrying her baby sister on either her hands or on her back right outside the door. She was brave enough to tell us the reasons and the challenges of carrying her sibling while her mother took care of a patient in the health care center.
Kasese home stay
Who would guess that the loud pop music coming through the pink doors of a CD shop would lead us to the home of a mother with two kids? The urban home stay gave us the chance to follow this mother carry on her daily work, such as copying movies and songs on the computer, selling and renting out CDs, and at the same time taking care of her two babies.