Ms. Joan Nabbosa is 16 years old. She was referred to Platform for Labour Action (PLA) by Chandiru Zuena one of PLA’s trained peer domestic work coordinator following information received that the employers were shifting to another house without settling Joan’s wages. Joan is a former child domestic worker who dropped out of school in Primary six due to lack of school fees. Her parents passed away when she was still young. Due to lack of employment, a friend advised her to search for a job. It’s from then that her friend brought her from Gomba – butambala and got her a job in Ntinda in February 2013 as a domestic worker. During her first day of work, a meeting was held with the employer to which it was agreed that she will earn 40,000/= per month.
Her tasks involved taking care of 2 children as well as domestic chores. She worked for a period of one year and was only paid for one month. While working, she always faced mistreatment from her employer. The matter was brought to the attention of PLA to which we intervened and rescued her from this situation. Her arrears amounting to 520,000/= Uganda shillings including exploitation compensation of 50,000/= were settled by the employer. She was later resettled back to her auntie’s home by PLA in Wakaliga. Joan aspires to study a hair dressing course so that she is in position to earn a living. She will be considered for the vocational training course. Joan thanked PLA for securing her money because she was worried that she will never get it.
“Thank you for rescuing me from the lady who mistreated me yet I took good care of her children and house.” God bless you - Nabossa Joan’s words.
Deborah is a 17 year old girl who graduated in hair dressing from Nile Vocational Institute Jinja in March 2013.She is a former child domestic worker who dropped out of School in 2009 due to lack of school fees after her primary seven. After her father’s death, her poor peasant mother could not further her education dueto her low income. She decided to come to Kampala to find a job and only got a domestic work job. During her time of work, she used to do everything at home and could not rest. Through one of our taskforce members (Ms. Naluwu Magaret).
PLA identified her, rescued her and placed her at Nile vocational institute Jinjawhere she gained vocational practical skills in hair dressing. Presently she has a job as a hair dresser and she is the manager of the salon and the manager as well. She said that she earns a salary of 50,000/= a month and her meals and accommodation are fully catered .During our visit she says that “Unlike before, today I can afford buying basic necessities like clothes and basic necessities to look good”.
Nakintu is 17 year old girl who graduated in hair dressing from Nile Vocational Institute Jinja in March 2013. She is a former child domestic worker at Nsambya police barracks who was identified by PLA during the 2012 door to door annual mapping exercise. Nakintu has five siblings and her mother was widowed and she struggled bring up her seven children single handed.
Her mother a peasant farmer could not afford supporting her since her father passed away during her P.7. After completing primary school, she could not continue with her secondary education. In 2009, her elder sister got her a domestic work job in Kazo - Bwaise a Kampala suburb, where she was promised a monthly payment of UGX 20,000/=(Twenty Thousand) Ugandan shillings equivalent to 8 dollars, she worked there for two years and received payment for only three months. In 2011 she left her job and joined her brother who was working in Nsambya barracks. At her brother’s place she was doing housework and was paid in kind where beddings, food and clothing were availed to her. According to Nakintu working for a stranger without pay was better off working for a relative (her brother) who was giving her better treatment.
With the help of a task force member, PLA rescued her and placed her at Nile Vocational Institute Jinja in July 2012 where she took a six months course in hair dressing. After completion, In May 2013 Nakintu got a job as whole sale seller of women’s hair pieces. At her place of work she also plaits ladies’ hair, she further says that she rates the customer depending on the hair style ranging from (10,000/= to 20,000/= UGX) equivalent to 4 to 8 USD and the money got out of this is shared together with her employer. She is paid on a weekly basis between (20,000/= - 30,000/= UGX) equivalent to 8 to 12 dollars), depending on the profit gained. She also gets a working benefit of housing where her employer pays for her accommodation.
During our two Monitoring visits, we realized that she has a decent work place as well as good accommodation. Nakintu expresses her sincere appreciation to PLA- (I thank PLA for giving me a future; I am now in position to stand as a woman and support my poor mother , before acquiring the hair dressing skill, I was not able to do so)
Nakintu is currently faced with the challenge of a few customers since she is still new in the area, she further defends it by saying that through the entrepreneurship skills that she acquired, she says that she plaits customers at a reduced cost so as to attract more and with such a strategy she believes more customers will come up. She commends her boss for allowing her to plait ladies to add on her take home and with this she has been able to save something and send to her mother, who uses some and saves the rest for her.
In future Nakintu believes that her working station will turn into a big saloon since her employer promised to buy the necessary hair dressing tools to improve her workplace and she believes that this will attract more customers, which will expand her services thus increasing on what With this she will be able to cater for her own accommodation by paying rent elsewhere unlike to date where she stays at her workplace.
Khainza is 17 years old. She grew up with both her biological parents in a family of 15 members in Bulambuli district. Both her parents are peasants and she has 7 siblings. She started school in 2002 and went to Muyembe primary school where she completed her primary seven in 2009.She got 17 aggregates (second grade) in primary seven and this gave her parents courage to continue her in secondary. In 2010, she joined Muyembe high school for her senior one and dropped out of school in her second term because her parents could no longer afford paying her school fees. In 2011, she came to Kampala to work as a domestic worker for a police officer in Nsambya barracks. The police officer is a friend to the mother. She worked for 3 months and was paid (UGSHS 20,000) an equivalent of USD 8 per month. While at her work place, she was treated fairly but was always being abused whenever her employer got drunk like" her mum was a prostitute and it's the reason why she works as a domestic worker." In her second month at the work place, Khainza met one of the PLA staff who interviewed her. After the interview, and from what she had been going through as a domestic worker, she accepted to go back to school. She later joined Nile Vocational Institute-Jinja on 28th September 2012 and enrolled in a catering course for six months. She completed school in April 2013. She then wrote applications to different hotels and got a job at Katikati restaurant after sitting home for 2 weeks. Khainza has worked at Katikati restaurant for 3 month now. She works as a waitress and earns Ushs 120,000 an equivalent of USD 48. She works from 1:00pm to midnight. Her aim is to save money and open up a hotel. She thanks PLA forgiving her an opportunity to go back to school, withdrawing and rescuing her from domestic work. "She says she will work hard to help street children so as to improve on their way of living". There are very many cases of child domestic workers in Uganda. With the help of GlobalGiving donors we can assist many children and have success stories.
Sharon is 17 years old. She grew up with her grand mother in a family of 5 members in Mubende. The family consisted three granddaughters and two grandsons. She is an orphan and has no siblings. Sharon never had a chance to see her parents. The father died when he had gone fishing and her mother was expecting her. Unfortunately, the mother also died just after giving birth to Sharon.
She also never had a chance to go to school because her grandmother could not afford paying her school fees. She would stay home doing domestic work and tendering to the garden. Her grand mother always encouraged her to work hard by telling her that orphans too can have a bright future even though they have never gone to school. This forced Sharon to work hard and have hope for a bright future.
In April 2011, a friend to her grandmother requested for Sharon to go and work as a domestic worker. It was agreed that she will earn USD 10 per month and the grand mothers accepted. She was taken to Nsambya police Barracks and worked for Kagusa. Sharon used to take care of 8 members (2 adults and 5 children).She used to wake up at 7am to prepare the children for school and after take them to school. She also used to do all the domestic work like mop the house, wash utensils/clothes, cooking and general house duties etc.
Sharon worked for 9 months and was not paid salaries for the 5 months; instead she was battered, abused by the employer and their children.
Sharon knew about PLA when she escaped from home to come and attend the awareness session that was held at Nsambya police barracks. It was after this session that she knew her rights. She then and got the courage to report her case to Child Family and Protection Unit (CFPU) office which was forwarded to PLA office. She was denied the opportunity of being withdrawn from domestic work by her employer yet she was interested.
When the case reached PLA office, Sharon was forcefully withdrawn and kept under the care of one taskforce member until the day of placement. The employer was summoned, and she accepted to sign an agreement that she will pay USD 60 which was later paid.
Sharon enrolled in hair dressing course at Nile Vocational School for six months. She was sponsored by Platform for Labour action. She completed the hair dressing course in March 2013. She is self employed, braids client’s hair and earns around USD 5 to USD 15 a day depending on number of customers. She braids different styles in twist, pencil, wigs etc. Because of her skills; she is some times called by clients at their homes to braid their hair. She says, `my challenge is lack of money to buy driers and other requirements. These need retouch and treatment of hair for her to earn more money a day’.
Sharon thanked PLA for giving her an opportunity to go to school, withdrawing her from domestic work. Since she was an orphan and had lost hope. She further says that she can now believe her grand mothers words, “even orphans can have a bright future even though they have never gone to school”
There many girls involved in domestic work like Sharon in Kampala. These girls are abused and sometimes go without pay. With the help of well-wishers we will be able to empower more domestic like Sharon.
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