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Unwrapping The Domestic Workers Business; Opportunities, Challenges & Solutions

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By Amon Baita

A domestic worker (call it housemaid) earns an average of Shs100, 000 per month in Uganda. This means that the person earns a paltry Shs1.2m in a year despite the many needs to spend on.

On the contrary, the same worker in the Middle East countries earns an average of Shs900, 000 per month, implying that the person will bag about Shs10.8m (Ten million two hundred thousand shillings) in a year.

The wage disparity between the two countries is quite huge.

But a worker in the Middle East is entitled to other benefits as provided under the law that include free accommodation, free food, medical insurance and bonuses. When these benefits are converted into monetary terms, it’s clear the employer in Middle East countries spends so much on a domestic worker compared to Uganda.

The availability of opportunities to work as a domestic worker in Middle East countries has transformed lives of many Ugandans who had no hope of getting out of their miserable poor conditions.

They are now able to save, invest in businesses and acquire property.

Many of these are not so much educated; you just need to communicate in English and ready to work to get the job.

Factors pushing Ugandans to go work as domestic workers include poverty of the households, early pregnancies and broken families.

Domestic workers are approximately 30% of all migrant employees in the Middle East.

Uganda association for External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) is doing a great job to ensure domestic workers from Uganda are treated well and work under better conditions.

UAERA’s cardinal objective is to keep/ get these youths off the streets, train and put them into productive employment through which they are able to contribute to nation building and development.

Given the high unemployment levels in Uganda, it is justfiavle for Ugandans to seek for greener pastures abroad.

What is important now is government to join UAERA in streamlining the externalization of labour.

Research shows that countries that have imposed restrictions on the movement of migrant workers have ended up with more of their people being trafficked and ending up in miserable situations.

It is good news that Uganda has already signed two bilateral labour agreements; with The Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Between Jan-2016 and Jul 2017, Uganda imposed a ban on externalization of domestic workers due to many reported cases in social and mainstream media of mistreatment of Ugandan girls in the host countries especially Saudi Arabia.

However, during the same period, 30,000 (Thirty thousand) Ugandan ladies were either trafficked or left on their own to Oman and other destinations.

Currently, Oman is not an authorized destination of Uganda female domestic workers. Ugandan male workers and female professionals are permitted to work anywhere in the world as long as there is proof of availability of genuine employment.

The other countries in the Middle East have also strengthened their labour laws for protection of the workers’ human rights.

These measures have in turn tremendously improved the conditions of migrant workers.

Opinion leaders like politicians, religious leaders, civil society and the general public ought to know that there’s a distinction between safe labour migration and trafficking of persons.

Trafficked people carry the risk of going to the unknown destinations and therefore end up mistreated, tortured and dead in some cases.

That’s why UAERA and government are emphasizing that Ugandans seeking jobs abroad should travel through genuine licensed companies.

Ugandans who go through members companies of UAERA are captured in the digitalized system, monitored and protected.

The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has led to the introduction of digitization that has revolutionized the processes of recruitment and monitoring of workers from Uganda in the destination countries.

Regulation and continued guidance about the industry and establishment of a labor liaison office is also a step in the right direction in as far as streamlining externalization of labour is concerned.

Mosaned, an online monitoring system that is used to manage the recruitment process was introduced as well as a four party standard employment contract which is signed by employer, employee, Source Company and Destination Company.

The labour dispute and settlement centres have also been established in several cities of Saudi Arabia manned by judges but also hefty penalties for employers who violate employees’ human rights have been put in place.

Government has also established a human rights department at the domestic center of the ministry of labour boosted by establishment of call centres to respond to labour complaints.

Establishment of Reception centers with medical facilities in major cities to cater for workers who may be distressed, stranded or unwell are also in place.

It’s also compulsory for a domestic worker to be provided with a mobile phones so that they can easily and freely communicate with their people back home.

Termination of the contract is also acceptable in case either party is not satisfied with the terms and conditions of the contract.

Lastly, there is provision of return air tickets by the government of Saudi Arabia to returning workers who may find challenges and are compelled to leave the country as well as compulsory opening of bank accounts for all migrant workers and payment of wages through the banks.

Challenges to the Industry

Adventurers

These are youth who venture on their own to find jobs abroad. They travel on tourists /Visit visas and many of them fail to get the jobs before the expiry of their visas.

Others run out of money and get stranded, send messages on social media about torture and cause public anxiety.

Human Trafficking

Due to lack of information about formal channels of getting employment abroad, many youths are lured by human traffickers , who smuggle the victims and end up in difficult situations in countries of destination.

Negative Publicity

As a result of human trafficking and adventurism, the media portrays labour externalization as risky, dangerous and fake.

UAERA has strengthened the secretariat to sensitize the public about the externalization of labour; it is safe and paying if one goes through licensed companies.

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Why Bebe Cool has rushed to Vietnam

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By Staff Writer

It’s now obvious, Bebe Cool’s generosity has paid off. Bebe Cool who two years ago was appointed a Global Tuberculosis (TB) Ambassador has been invited by TB Reach for a meeting in Vietnam to discuss how he can be funded to carry out duties as a TB Ambassador.

TB Reach is an initiative under Stop TB Partnership in Geneva and UNOPS whose objective is to find all the missing cases of TB with the aim of eradicating the disease from the World.

“Statistics prove that 80,000 Ugandans die of Tuberculosis annually yet many Ugandan’s aren’t aware of the causes, symptoms and remedies for the killer disease. It’s time all key players join hands and invest more in Creating Awareness if Tuberculosis is to be defeated” – Bebe Cool

Bebe Cool has been engaging in many charitable activities under Amber Heart
Foundation, the latest having been last year when he donated over UGX.60,000,000 (Sixty Million Shillings) from proceeds of his Concert towards facilitating treatment of children with Heart defects

Bebe Cool will be meeting UN officials in Vietnam this week to deliberate on among other things how best to execute his fight against Tuberculosis in Uganda.

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Ugandan Athletes Shine At 2019 MTN Kampala Marathon

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By Staff Writer

The 16th Edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon 2019 has been concluded today Sunday 24th November 2019

  • 25,000 people participated in the various categories of the Marathon including elite runners from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • All the runners were flagged off by the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, The MTN CEO, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte and The General Manager, MTN Corporate Affairs, Ms. Enid Edroma at the Kololo Independence grounds
  • All proceeds from the marathon will be used to improve maternal health facilities in a Health Centre IV hospital, to be selected in the region.

For the 16th time, thousands of Ugandans and people from the neighboring countries took part in the MTN Kampala Marathon (MKM). Held under the theme “For a good cause”, the proceeds from the marathon will go to improving maternal health across the country.

Participants took part in a full marathon (42km), Half marathon (21km), 10km run and the differently abled participated in the 5Km wheelchair race. The wheelchair race that  was previously held a weekend before the main marathon event was also held today foster inclusiveness.

Special attention was made to ensure every participant has a vest that fits and enables a comfortable running experience. Additionally, this year’s kit came with a phone holder worn on the arm to enable participants to run with their phones.

The Marathon attracted elite runners from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

All the runners were flagged off by the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, The MTN CEO, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte and The General Manager, MTN Corporate Affairs, Ms. Enid Edroma at the Kololo Independence grounds.

Uganda’s Phillip Kiplimo who covered the 42km race in 2 hours thirteen minutes and 56 seconds walked away with shs. 20 million. In the female category, Uganda’s Nyakisi Adero who covered the same distance in 2 hours, 41 minutes and 11 seconds also won sh.20 million.

In the 21km race, Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda won shs. 4.5 million having covered the distance in 1 hour 1 minute and 53 seconds. In the females’ category, Juliet Chekwel from Uganda also walked away with shs. 4.5 million after completing the race in 1 hour 13 minutes and 8 seconds.

In the 10Km race, Uganda’s Denis Cherotich fished the race in 35 minutes and 29 minutes, walking away with shs. 1.5 million. His female counterpart, Sauline Chelangat, also from Uganda walked away with the same amount having completed the race in 35 minutes and 29 seconds.

In the wheel chair race, Kevin Mubiru came first while Polline Acayo took the lead among the females. In the Tricycle race, Mohammed Ngobi and Mariam Kasibira took the mantle of the day.

Sheraton Hotel won 3.4 million shillings under the corporate challenge. They will spend this money on a charity of their choice under a registered Non-Government Organization.

Levixone, Fresh Kid, Vinka, John Blaq and Spice Diana among others entertained the crowd.

Like last year, the MKM was preceded by regional runs aimed at giving the sixteen year old annual event a national feel. This year’s regional races were held in Soroti, Arua and Masaka. Proceeds from the races will go towards improving maternal health in those particular regions.

The Regional Runs started in Soroti on 3rd November. Thereafter, action moved to Arua on Sunday 10th November, action has been moved to Arua town. Thereafter, the regional runs will be wrapped up in Masaka on Sunday 17th November 2019 ahead of the main MTN Kampala Marathon in Kampala that happened today.

With an estimated 336 deaths per 100,000 live births, Uganda’s maternal mortality is one of the highest in the world. This explains why for the third year in a row, the Marathon will focus on improving maternal health.

Proceeds from last year’s Marathon are being used to complement efforts by the Ministry of Health to improve service delivery in 5 Health Centre IV facilities across Uganda.

While the regional races will feature a single 10km route run, the Kampala Marathon will feature five routes including; the full marathon (42Km), half marathon (21Km), the 10Km race and 5Km fun run and the wheelchair race.

10 KM WINNERS

MEN

Position Number Name Country Time Cash prize
1 15194 Denis Cherotich Uganda 00;29;59 Ush. 1.5 Mil
2 22625 Bushendich Mande Uganda 00:30:05 Ush. 800,000
3 15203 Phillip Kipyeko Uganda 00:30:12 Ush. 500,000
4 20319 Kwemoi Salim Uganda 00:30:14 Ush. 300,000
5 22618 Ezekiel Mutai Uganda 00:30:15 Ush. 200,000

10 KM WINNERS

WOMEN

Position Number Name Country Time Cash prize
1 17171 Sauline Chelangat Uganda 00:35:29 Ush. 1.5 Mil
2 22610 Lillan Cheptegai Uganda 00:35:41 Ush. 800,000
3 15188 Sharon Chepkwemboi Uganda 00:36:12 Ush. 500,000
4 15190 Phanice Chemutai Uganda 00:36:28 Ush. 300,000
5 15191 Ruth Mande Uganda 00:36:34 Ush. 200,000

21.1 KM

MEN

Position Number Name Country Time Cash Prize
1 1708 Jacob Kiplimo Uganda 01:10:53 Ush. 4.5 Mil
2 1640 Filex Chemonges Uganda 01:02:57 Ush. 2.5 Mil
3 1168 Kibet Titus Uganda 01:03:21 Ush. 1.5 Mil
4 1188 Moses Kibet Uganda 01:03:37 Ush. 750,000
5 1709 Isaac Kibet Uganda 01:04:34 Ush. 375,000

21.1 KM WINNERS

WOMEN

Position Number Name Country Race time Cash prize
1 1182 Juliet Chekwel Uganda 01:13.08 Ush. 4.5 Mil
2 1167 Doreen Chemutai Uganda 01:13:09 Ush. 2.5 Mil
3 1643 Dorcus Ajok Uganda 01:14:13 Ush. 1.5 Mil
4 1183 Doreen Chesang Uganda 01:14:21 USH. 750,000
5 1163 Annet Chelangat Uganda 01:14:23 Ush. 375,000

42.2 KM

MEN

Position Number Name Country Time Cash prize
1 341 Phillip Kiplimo Uganda 02:13:56 Ush. 20 Mil
2 346 Fred Musobo Uganda 02:15:23 Ush. 10 Mil
3 337 Anthony Ayeko Uganda 02:15:52 Ush. 5 Mil
4 328 Soyekwo Kibet Uganda 02:16:17 Ush, 3 Mil
5 378 Francis Musani Uganda 02:18:03 Ush. 2 Mil
6 334 Daniel Rotich Uganda 02:18:38 Ush. 1.24 Mil
7 338 Patrick Kiptalah Uganda 02:20:29 Ush. 900,000
8 323 Hable Guta Bira Ethiopia 02:20:49 Ush. 800,000
9 355 Alfred Kiptoyek Uganda 02:20:55 Ush. 700,000
10 9 Allan Andiema Uganda 02:21:00 Ush.600,000

42.2 KM WINNERS

WOMEN

Position Number Name Country Time Cash prize
1 342 Nyakisi Adero Uganda 02:41:11 Ush 20 Mil
2 340 Vanis Chemutai Uganda 02:45:42 Ush. 10 Mil
3 322 Kidist Fiseha Tedia Eritrea 02:47:01 Ush. 5 Mil
4 324 Lydia Wafula Kenya 02:49:08 Ush. 3 Mil
5 354 Priscilla Chelangat Uganda 02:49:45 Ush.2Mil
6 26 Migada Caroline Uganda 02:50:55 1.24 Mil
7 399 Omari Doris Kenya 02:52:59 Ush. 900,000
8 376 Rotich Lydia Chepleting Kenya 02:54:15 Ush. 800,000
9 320 Debesay Yohannes Hibret Eritrea 02:55:43 Ush. 700,000
10 318 Eileen Jepngetich Korir Kenya 02:57:10 Ush. 600,000

Tri-cycle Men

Number Name Position
5510 Ngobi Muhammed 1
5019  Abongo Geofrey 2
10174 Suusa Karim 3

Wheel chair Men

Number Name Position
5514 Mubiru Kevin 1
5016 Ocira Richard 2
5020 Ziraba Christopher 3

Tri-cycle women

Number Name Position
5002 Kasibira Mariam 11
5017 Acen Florence 2
5568 Elivaida Abenoyo 3

Wheel chair women

Number Name Position
5002 Acayo Polline 1
5003 Kyalimpa Vastar 2

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Vinka, Salvado appointed to spearhead positive drinking campaign

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L-R: Media personality Calvin, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Alvin Mbugua and comedian Salvado during the "Be Your Own Ref" campaign launch held at Legends bar on Thursday.

L-R: Media personality Calvin, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Alvin Mbugua and comedian Salvado during the “Be Your Own Ref” campaign launch held at Legends bar on Thursday.

By Our Reporter

Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) under its Red Card Initiative has launched a positive drinking campaign aimed at encouraging responsible alcohol consumption through sharing tips on controlled drinking and highlighting the benefits of responsible drinking.

Dubbed “Be Your Own Ref”, the campaign is urging alcohol consumers to take responsibility for their actions by exercising self-control and self-discipline while consuming alcohol.

Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Alvin Mbugua said, “Enjoying alcohol is part of life in many societies around the world. It is a part of how people socialize, whether they are celebrating life’s big achievements, catching up with friends or enjoying a football game. However just like other products, when misused, alcohol can lead to individual and social harm. At UBL, we would like to see consumers of our products make responsible drinking a valued and enjoyable part of life. The positive drinking campaign informs and empowers people to enjoy our products in a moderate and responsible way.”

Under the “Be your Own Ref” Campaign, UBL will focus on three major issues: Reminding and motivating alcohol consumers to be their own referees by exercising control and enforce personal rules while drinking; enforce a no drinking policy for underage persons; and prevent Drunk Driving.

“We want people who choose to drink, to make positive and responsible choices about alcohol. Drink in moderation, pace yourself while drinking alcohol by taking water breaks, do not drive under the influence of alcohol, this is what positive drinking means.” Mbugua said.

To spearhead the campaign, UBL has re-appointed award winning musician Vinka as ambassador for the campaign. She will lead the campaign alongside Comedian Patrick Idringi aka Salvado and media personalities Calvin Kalule & Deedan Muyira.

UBL will for the next 7 months be interacting with consumers online, in bars, alcohol selling outlets and higher institutions of learning to encourage positive drinking. A total of 50 bars and 4 higher institutions of learning will be will be covered under this campaign.

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