Dalia Deals: Housemaid Horrors, still necessary?

There is currently a search for baby Annabel who was kidnapped by a housemaid in Kenya.

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The horror stories continue after the shocking footage of the Ugandan nanny, ironically named Jolly Tumuhiirwe, tortured a 18 month old baby girl. The video is too shocking to share. These are the stories we know about, there are more heartbreaking episodes that make me wonder should the era of the housemaid stop??

I was brought up by one ‘aunty’ who has lasted the years. Many people are shocked because it’s unheard of. A household could go through up to 6 maids a year because various reasons mainly to do with their personal lives of the workload.

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Captioned – Modern Day Slavery

My mom tells me this story about how her intuition saved the lives of my brother. One brother got burned by the maid by hot porridge. Mum noticed her baby was different and decided to bath her child only to discover burn marks. That maid got fired and mum then decided to wash her baby everyday when she came from work to inspect her child.

These are typical stories with very young children who can’t defend themselves. There are more from children who can speak up for themselves but few know about. I have heard stories of maids trying on teenage girls clothes including underwear but the most damage is done to our young boys.

A very enlightened young man highlighted the point that teenage boys are being taught about sexuality by our housemaids. They learn unhealthy dynamics of relationships from the young housegirls we let into our houses where they are ultimately the boss. For some boys these are the first sexual experiences that both parties are not in a hurry to tell parents. These stories are shared at school and at times shared with fathers who may express pride in their son “growing up”. Is this right? It is inherently child abuse, or paedophilia but there has been no whistle-blowing to date. Then we wonder why society suffers unhealthy relationships, it starts in our homes. How many households are dealing with extramarital affairs with maids? How many sons have impregnated maids?

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The house girl issue is reaching mainstream media.

The impossible housemaid – Kansiime Anne – watch here

The many stories of maids putting juju in the food of their employers or specifically the mother of the house. That strained relationship between ‘madame’ and ‘sisi’ which I believe spurs the violence and misconduct. Some maids are dehumanised and feel somewhat abused by the activities they are asked to do with the amount they get paid. I am especially interested in this housemaid situation because I wrote my dissertarion on the well being of child domestice workers in Egypt, apart of the Gender lens working groups for the 2011 EADI conference, read more here. There is more to the story to those criminalised in the housemaid world. Was Jolly the Ugandan nanny acting out of frustration? Jolly, dubbed the monster maid, was given a chance to say her side of the story..
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She says she was beaten by the dad till she bled… was that called for? More on the story here

Some maids come from backgrounds of difficult circumsaltances, could they actually need some sort of counselling? Does this house girl culture perpetuate poverty? Does it lead to the destruction of society? Should it stop?

Please share your views about this issue that is so close to home for most of us.

Thank you for reading, lets get a-tweeting (@dali_lamah)

Come Dine with a TBF Star – Mrs Moneypenny

Watching my usual dose of Come Dine with Me and I was pleasantly surprised to see the lovely orange hat and even lovelier owner Mrs Moneypenny. I love this woman not only because she is a great influence in my life but she has a heart for people and a great spirit to succeed.

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A former investment banker who worked leaps and bounds and attained an MBA and a PhD from reputable institutions around the world. She has authored 6 books and presented 6 series of UK Channel 4’s Superscrimpers. She runs her own successful London business and contributes in a weekly column in the Financial Times since 1999. I had the opportunity to learn from her through the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which she champions and is still involved in. Mrs Moneypenny advocates to equip those with a desire to succeed, and I am fortunate to have had that opportunity.

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Trainees on my programme, see our blog entries

I am a product of a wonderful programme run by the Taylor Bennett Foundation (TBF) which directly addresses the lack of diversity in the communications and PR industry since 2008. Exactly 3 years ago I completed the programme and emerged a communications professional but not without hard work and determination.

The application process is very intense. I was just telling my mother what the assessment centre consisted of. Two words – SPEED INTERVIEWING. I haven’t experienced speed dating but I am sure a similar buzz is felt in the room. 21 candidates spoke to 21 interviewers for a few minutes and then moved to the left to the next interviewer. With each encounter you were sure to replicate all those things Google told you to do for good interview etiquette. Some of the questions I received were, “A hobby you put down is singing, why?” “Why do you want to do the programme” or my personal favourite that I got asked a couple of times “Tell me about yourself.” In 2 minutes, I had to be clever, courteous, coherent and comprehensible, not to mention charming. Then stand up and do that all again with another interviewer. Intense. I must have done something right because I was chosen to be a trainee on the programme and my life has never been the same.

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Media training at the Royal Bank of Scotland equipped me to do a short web series

Monday Motivation

See the Episode

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Facebook page for the web series

Mrs Moneypenny does more than share her wisdom with the nation to scrimp and save, she is very hardworking and has taught me not to let anything stand in your way to achieving your goals. I applied her networking advice and that saw me work from intern of an amazing organisation to, within a year, addressing the International Board about engagement at a movement-wide general assembly streamed live across the world. Only possible through the training from professionals responsible for FTSE 100 companies. It all began with an application.

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I encourage all bright, ambitious and outstanding candidates to apply for the next programme starting in Spring 2015 and urge those who would like to support the programme to do so. Before Taylor Bennett Foundation I had no idea what PR was but because of the training, I am a passionate PR professional all thanks to a TBF Star Mrs Moneypenny. She is a hero who equips willing individuals to be the best they can be.

My Former Life as a Tele-Fundraiser #NuisanceCalls @C4Dispatches

So I got a job as a telephone fundraiser. It was the hardest job I ever had to do. I only lasted a few weeks and my soul resembled a ruined city and I went into hiding after the ordeal. I was a development / humanitarian student during the time and I was passionate about the causes I was fundraising for. I knew the importance of the much needed funds and saw it as a good opportunity to gain charity experience.

It was a highly stressful job. There were daily targets and pressure to ask ask ask for a donation. If I was calling robots at a convenient time it may have been possible but I was talking to human beings who did not want to be asked for money in their homes.

There were spot listen-ins and if you made a mistake you were corrected. A guy, who was my boyfriend at the time, got fired because he put a call back where a supporter had informed him to call back. He overshot the daily targets but was still fired on the spot.

I remember one day I just got the back end of the caller database where everyone was just being rude. The last person to tell me to f*** off and slam the phone on me sent me into the ladies loo to have a big cry. I felt battered. Then I quit.

Telefundraisers are heros… people don’t realise that they are not the only call a fundraiser has made that day and consider how they would feel if someone was swearing at them for doing their job. It didn’t suit me but it cannot be denied that those funds are needed for those who rely on the work Charities do.

I have to highlight Pell & Bales #proudfundraiser pics.

PNB