Thanks to the mobilization by the Happy Baby Village Tailors and Village Health Team Members, families with babies and pregnant women were identified and invited to meetings in each twelve village. Follow-up meetings started with an open discussion on general issues about baby care, feeding, hygiene, elimination communication and their relation to the importance of carrying babies. The families who owned Happy Baby carriers told about their experiences and the relation the discussed subjects. Participants were interested in having the carrier, so then we focused on discussing ways of income and brainstormed on alternative payment methods to experiment with the community. Overall, in every meeting 2-3 mothers paid full price and bought carriers, 3-4 started paying in installments, a group is in progress of developing a method of collecting money and a mother bartered a mat she made to get a Happy Baby Carrier. There was a big motivation in forming parent-support groups to continue meeting and discussing various topics related to baby caring.
While several families were able to afford the $7 Happy Baby Carrier with alternative payment methods, there are still some families, especially single mothers, who simply can not afford it – some groups selected one mother who needed the carrier most among themselves and could not afford it at all. The meetings showed us that next step is to work on achieving our dream of getting the carrier in the hands of these families.
This is when our participation in the Commemoration of the Day of African Child came along. The aim was both to network with different NGOs who exhibited their work and to experiment with selling the carriers to a new client group, ‘urban mother’, for a higher price and using the profit to cover the fabric cost for a rural mother in Nkokonjeru. We went to the event with Happy Baby tailor mothers, who came along with their carriers and babies, and Ambassador families with babies in different ages. Their involvement had a big impact on presenting the carrier as they were live models. Three Happy Baby Carriers were sold – one to an Ugandan mother, and others to a volunteer foreigner in an NGO. These clients will be linked with the rural mothers who benefited from their donation, and will be given feedback on their help.