LUDERITZ – Going to work early in the morning and worrying about where to leave your baby has become a thing of the past for some Lüderitz residents, as 57-year-old Nangula Thomas and her 27-year-old daughter have opened a baby-sitting centre at the harbour town.
The new kindergarten at Lüderitz caters for the needs of many women working day and night shifts. Thomas started the day-care as a way to generate an income for her family to look after children. She is a mother of six with a passion for, and loves, kids.
The centre is located in Area 2 in Lüderitz where it operates from the sitting room of her house. The centre currently looks after more than 15 kids that come in the morning and over 15 more toddlers that come when their parents work night shift.
She said the kids are from as young as two months old up to the age of four years, but Thomas says they sometimes get parents that leave in her care babies that are one month.
The biggest challenge that they however face is a lack of space, as the sitting room they operate in is very small and can not accommodate the large number of babies they look after. She has appealed to fishing and other corporate sponsors to help them with funds so that they acquire a much bigger place and to buy toys, mattresses and beds for the children she looks after.
“We are currently having a lot of mothers who want to bring their babies to our centre but the space is too small – we would really appreciate it if we could get a bigger place and thus we are appealing to anyone out there for a bigger place,” said Thomas
Mirjam Hedimbi is one of the mothers whose baby is always being taken care of by Thomas and her daughter. “I thank you mee Nangula for taking good care of my baby, I brought him to this care while he was just a month old. I am satisfied with the way they look after these children and make sure that they are well taken care of and fed properly. I have never been called from work that my baby is not well. If she sees the baby is not well she makes it her responsibility to take that baby to the clinic,” applauded Hedimbi whose son is now a year-and-a-month old and she drops him at the centre on a daily basis.
Hedimbi said because of the starvation wages that some of mothers earn they are in turn unable to provide adequate and nutritious meals for their children. Some of the kids appear to be undernourished and Thomas needs to provide these kids with proper meals.
“I realised that some babies are suffering from malnutrition and that is why I ask permission from their parents if I can stay with their little one for a few months while I feed them and take them to the clinic for regular health check-ups,” said Thomas.
For any assistance Thomas can be contacted on her mobile phone: 0855601243.