Tag Archives: Uganda

Follow-up Meetings

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Thanks to the mobilization by the Happy Baby Village Tailors and Village Health Team Members, families with babies and pregnant women were identified and invited to meetings in each twelve village. Follow-up meetings started with an open discussion on general issues about baby care, feeding, hygiene, elimination communication and their relation to the importance of carrying babies. The families who owned Happy Baby carriers told about their experiences and the relation the discussed subjects. Participants were interested in having the carrier, so then we focused on discussing ways of income and brainstormed on alternative payment methods to experiment with the community. Overall, in every meeting 2-3 mothers paid full price and bought carriers, 3-4 started paying in installments, a group is in progress of developing a method of collecting money and a mother bartered a mat she made to get a Happy Baby Carrier. There was a big motivation in forming parent-support groups to continue meeting and discussing various topics related to baby caring.

While several families were able to afford the $7 Happy Baby Carrier with alternative payment methods, there are still some families, especially single mothers, who simply can not afford it – some groups selected one mother who needed the carrier most among themselves and could not afford it at all. The meetings showed us that next step is to work on achieving our dream of getting the carrier in the hands of these families.

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This is when our participation in the Commemoration of the Day of African Child came along. The aim was both to network with different NGOs who exhibited their work and to experiment with selling the carriers to a new client group, ‘urban mother’, for a higher price and using the profit to cover the fabric cost for a rural mother in Nkokonjeru. We went to the event with Happy Baby tailor mothers, who came along with their carriers and babies, and Ambassador families with babies in different ages. Their involvement had a big impact on presenting the carrier as they were live models. Three Happy Baby Carriers were sold – one to an Ugandan mother, and others to a volunteer foreigner in an NGO. These clients will be linked with the rural mothers who benefited from their donation, and will be given feedback on their help.

Baby Carrying Benefits

During May, Happy Baby activities mainly consisted of Baby Carrying Benefits Meetings with different stakeholders, HB Carrier Making Tailor Trainings, monitoring the usage of Happy Baby Carrier by the ambassador families, and the first Happy Baby Stitchery Launch Event.

The Baby Carrying Benefits Meetings were held with mothers and fathers in each 12 village around Nkokonjeru. Invitations through mobilizers and public announcements brought between 30-50 participants to each meeting. These participants first listened to a general presentation of the project, participated in an open discussion on the experiences of baby carrying, tried on and gave feedback on the Happy Baby carrier, and finally learned the scientifically proven benefits of baby carrying. Besides the meetings held in each village with potential beneficiaries, different stakeholders such as hospital health workers, clinic drug shops, health village leaders, village health team members, elders and mobilizers were met either in the Happy Baby Stitchery or individually to participate in a similar format meeting, in addition, to brainstorm on how to implement Happy Baby in their communities and to take on the responsibility of spreading the knowledge of the benefits of baby carrying.

5 Benefits

For spreading the knowledge easily, Baby Carrying Benefits are grouped in 5 categories:

Strengthens the attachment between you and your baby, resulting in the growth of an empathetic and secure child. Creates a harmonious and joyful interaction between you and your baby, helping the development of socio- emotional skills.
Enables fathers to participate actively in early care giving which strengthens your marriage/relationship and expands your baby’s exposure to male caregiving patterns, resulting in a more optimum development.
Helps you breastfeed comfortably on the go, so you can keep giving your baby the best nutrition and protection from illnesses and diseases.
Enables hands-free care giving of your baby, giving you the freedom to enjoy a joyful and active maternity leave and to contribute to your family’s well-being.
Allows you to carry your newborn baby in the front position and later gives the choice to carry your baby in the front or on the back safely and ergonomically.

When discussing these benefits, an interesting feedback we got during the meetings was on breastfeeding on the go. In Nkokonjeru, it is culturally believed that one should not eat while walking, so some parents commented that if they practiced breastfeeding while walking, they would impose bad behavior to their babies or the babies would choke. Most parents preferred to stop their activity and breastfeed sitting down with the baby, continue once the baby is full.

Having simplified the knowledge to spread easily, these benefits are then brought together in posters and brochures and translated into Luganda. Today, Happy Baby posters are hanging in many village meetings participants’ homes, hospitals, prayer places, small clinics, drug  shops and other various public spaces. Feel free to download the high resolution posters and brochures using the above gallery.