Over the years, one of the world’s oldest sectors, the nanny service has been plagued by abuses, often times from employers and sometimes from nannies too.
Faced with these realities, and after living the experience, Delisa Kuo and her colleague Louiza Kiven, Directors of the newly created Dream Nanny Service in Cameroon say they thought it wise to mainstream their sector, by giving it a formal touch and introducing regulation.
To do this, they have created a platform where people offering nanny services and families in need of such services can formally meet and get what they all want.
In an interview with Atlantic Chronicles, the co-Directors of Dream Nanny Service say they are seeking to make the nanny service more professional, formal, regulated and satisfying for both host families and nannies so that all can be contented.
In their drive to modernise the sector, the Directors of Dream Nanny Service have brought on board several stakeholders, including the various ministries that in one way or the other, have something to do with the services offered by Dream Nanny Service.
During our interview with Dream Nanny Service’s Co-Director, Delisa Kuo we first wanted to know what Dream Nanny Service is all about.
What is Dream Nanny all about?
The Dream Nanny Service is designed and run by Nannies for Nannies. My co-Director, Louiza Kiven and I, Delisa Kuo, are both Nannies who have been dreaming of a better life for all Nannies. Having experienced all the faces of the Nanny profession, we believe it is time to give our very important profession a much needed revamp, because as long as we live in a world in which both Fathers and mothers go to work, there shall always be a need for a Nanny. The Nanny profession is one of the oldest professions in the world, yet, it remains among the most overlooked professions. The Dream Nanny Service therefore comes in handy to facilitate the recruitment of Nannies while sensitising Nannies on their rights and responsibilities in society. We are carrying out this project because the Nanny service in Cameroon and in most parts of the world is unregulated, informal and the lives of Nannies are associated with so many human rights abuses such as human trafficking, home-based violence, underpayment, among others. So the Dream Nanny Service is out to ennoble the Nanny profession so that it can earn the respect it deserves in society. Children should grow up wishing to choose Nannying as a profession.
What new thing will the Dream Nanny Service bring to the field?
The Dream Nanny Service has established Cameroon’s first Nanny-led and Nanny-centred formal Nanny recruitment agency which not only facilitates the recruitment of refugees, forcibly displaced youths, low income persons and other aspiring Nannies but also compels all host families willing to hire a Nanny from our service to comply with international human right standards. The Dream Nanny Service shall equally provide a centre through which people can be trained to become qualified Nannies and offer Monitoring and Evaluation platforms through which our profession can be improved upon. This project will change the lives of so many Nannies and bring the much needed peace to host families (who also sometimes get victimised by low quality Nannies). It is set to change the face of the Nanny profession not only in Cameroon but Africa at large. Nannies are second mothers and they need to be well respected. Nannies need to respect themselves too and they can only do so if they are fully aware of their rights but also their responsibilities.
Over the years, there have been reports and scandals on the treatment Nannies receive. Will your Service check that, and how will that be done?
Definitely. We are here for that. The Dream Nanny Service was launched in the presence of stakeholders from the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Family, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Ministry of Decentralisation. We are going to partner with these ministries and produce a set of rules and regulations for the Nannies and the host families and in case of any human rights abuses; we shall call both the Nannies and the host families to account. We shall sign an agreement with the host families so they can pay the Nannies well and on time and monitor to ensure that all host families in Cameroon register their Nannies in Social Security Service.
Who are the stakeholders on board this initiative, and how will their presence help make the Nanny sector better?
We are currently working with Cameroon’s Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF) for institutional coverage and guidance. We also work in partnership with Cameroon’s Ministry of Justice (MINJUSTICE) to help establish the rights but also responsibilities of Nannies and with Cameroon’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and that of Decentralisation to identify each Nanny and host family’s location. We also work under the auspices of the Afrogiveness Movement (#Afrogiveness) which is our host organisation for now and we hope all partners would help us establish a guidebook for the profession. We are currently in search of more partners for our initiative.
In case of abuses, breach of contract and other misdeeds, how will your service handle it?
My own experience as a Nanny was horrible at times. I sit and shed tears on my own asking God why the world is so full of wickedness so I had to rise up and fight for the Nannies so they don’t also experience the same pains as I did .We are going to start up a centre where the Nannies come and receive advices, train them well on their rights and responsibilities and how to defend themselves in case of human rights abuses. We would also sensitise the host families on how to treat their Nannies back at home and we shall make sure the rules are well respected. If push comes to shove, we shall call on security officials or seek justice through litigation.
How can Nannies and those in need of a Nanny contact you or seek your services?
The Dream Nanny Service can be reached through the number 653609092/ 674025810
Our office is situated in Yaounde Rue mont Mbankolo (Inspiration palace), Hillside Plaza. They can also reach us through our Facebook page, Dream Nanny Service.