After hectic days of packing, the design team is off to Uganda to collaborate with Josephine Nalugo, Children in Africa Breastfeeding Support, and kick off the pilot phase of Happy Baby in Nkokonjeru!
The pilot phase of Happy Baby Project starts with opening a demo stitchery in Nkokonjeru Town Council where tailors will be trained to make and sell baby carriers, engaging different roles in the community – such as local authorities, religious leaders, midwives & health care clinic officers, wise elder women&men – to spread the knowledge of benefits of baby carrying and distributing carriers to selected families who will be the first Happy Baby Ambassadors.
Nkokonjeru is a town in the Buiwe District of Central Uganda, where both rural and urban life can be experienced. Being Josephine’s home town and Children in Africa Breastfeeding Support’s main operation area, the site allows us to access its leaders which is the key to succeed in creating ownership of the project in the community. We started with meeting the Community Development Officer Acting Clerk, Town Council Accountant, Mayor and Women Councelor to give information about Happy Baby and to get their permission and involvement to operate in Nkokonjeru. Following their suggestions, we scheduled a presentation of Happy Baby in the Community Center where everyone in the neighbor 12 villages will be invited through mobilizers and radio announcements.
Engaging the leaders continued with meeting old wise women in the community, who usually consult young mothers in villages during their pregnancy and motherhood. With their feedback on how to communicate the advantages of Happy Baby Carrying, which we have boiled down to 5 main benefits, we learned the necessity of translating them to Luganda. Thanks to the network of IBFAN Uganda, we could reach the right person for this task, an experienced midwife and national translator who could fully understand the content.
Meanwhile, we visited our future workspace where we will set up the demo Happy Baby Stitchery, make and sell baby carriers, train neighbor village tailors to become Happy Baby Entrepreneurs and give baby wearing benefits education to different community members. The sewing machines are already bought and assembled!