On the 21.11.2014, a video clip of a live-in maid physically abusing an infant went viral on social media triggering waves of calls and reaction across the globe.

In extreme situations maids or helpers have suffocated babies to death, stuffed them in fridges, injected them with HIV/Aids, sexually molested infants and attempted suicide due to psychological problems and mental fits.

We would therefore, like to caution the public that such acts could be due to psychological problems suffered by maids and helpers, which calls upon the public taking great care while selecting domestic helpers.

It is extremely important that employers first evaluate their domestic needs before hiring a maid or helper. Thereafter, proceed and review them by doing a background check from friends, neighbors, local area police, local council or persons who hired them before to help establish if they faced some sort of theft or general damages.

It is also advisable that you choose the area of your home needs and before you agree on the wages, let the helper or maid visit the home and inspect the specific areas to focus on. Take time to know the family or origin of the maid should any incidents arise in the course of her work.

Then proceed and give your expectations to the maid or helper, and work with them by treating them respectfully since they are also people. They should be given space in the home and allowed to use the bathroom, dining, and their bedroom; have friends and positively bond with the family members.

It is also polite that they are paid for additional tasks beyond their normal schedules. Although hiring maids or helpers has never been a straight forward arrangement, there are success stories where maids have cared for their wages and developed very strong bonds with children; and become important family members.

However, it is on record where many maids have run away from their employers every month, because of mistreatment (verbal, physical and sexual abuse), and the failure to understand that maids or helpers have limitations and need to be watched over closely for signs of improvement.

And if it does not work out, then its better you part ways and look for someone else or explore other alternatives of older women in the neighborhood, daily nannies or day care centers. This will definitely help in getting the right person for the right job, where our children do not pay the price. The Observer (Kampala)



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