“I’m a mother now!” Those were Sharon’s first words when she brought her new daughter, Given Blessing, to visit her Sseko co-workers last week. Sharon always glows with a certain joy, but her face is definitely a little brighter now, especially when she speaks of her baby.
Uganda, like most countries, has a way to go with women’s rights issues, but one thing it certainly gets right is a long period of maternity leave. Not only were we excited to meet the new baby, but also thrilled to see Sharon, whose laughter and jokes have been missing from our workshop for far too long. She returns to work in just one short week, but before that happens, we took a moment to celebrate Sharon and her new addition with gifts, cookies, and a little bit of Zumba. Sylvia even invented a new, slowed down version so she wouldn’t have to put the baby down.
No Ugandan gathering is complete without a speech, and Sharon also made the celebration a bit more official with a few words to her co-workers. She is especially grateful that her health insurance covers delivery as there were some small complications during her labor. She was comforted to see that four doctors came and attended to her to make sure things turned out well.
Most importantly, though, we all got a chance to hold Sharon’s beautiful little Blessing. Sharon is proud to join the mothers at Sseko, and is already recruiting others for the club. “You should have a baby,” she told several of her younger co-workers. “You’ll love it!”