Kampala, Breast milk is the most natural and nutritious form of food for babies, providing them with essential minerals, vitamins, and antibodies that help protect them from illness and disease. It is important for a child’s health and well-being.
Nursing is still an important part of Uganda’s culture, and the majority of mothers nurse their children for up to two years. However, with the growing number of women in employment, nursing is becoming more challenging given the work schedules that normally involve eight hours away from home.
To support women employees and help them balance the demands of their home and professional lives, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) has established a nursing area to allow nursing mothers express and store their babies’ milk.
The nursing room is a designated space for mothers to express breast milk in comfort and privacy. The area is equipped with a refrigerator for milk storage, a cold pack to transport milk home safely, comfortable chairs, and a washing area to keep everything sanitary.
Catherine Gita, the Director for People and Culture at CCBU, said the company is happy to provide the resources and support needed for mothers to take care of their children and still give their best at work.
“The new nursing area is a welcome addition to ensure that employees can balance their work and family responsibilities. Working mothers face a challenge when it comes to breastfeeding due to the long hours away from their babies,” said Gita.
“At CCBU, we believe in doing business the right way by following our values and working toward solutions that benefit us all. Profitability is important, but not at any cost.
“When we grow our business the right way, not just the easy way, we help create inclusive growth opportunities for our communities, women and youth, our customers, our employees and our shareholders, for a better shared future,” said Gita.
The room was officially opened by Miria Matembe, a former member of Parliament and a long serving advocate for women’s rights, who was the guest speaker at the women’s engagement session hosted by CCBU in celebration of International Women’s Day. She applauded the company for taking such a great stride in supporting mothers in the workplace and urged other companies to emulate CCBU.
“What a wonderful and thoughtful move that will undoubtedly make the lives of nursing mothers easier. This initiative is sure to be an incredible asset that will be greatly appreciated by working mothers. I applaud CCBU for being a thought leader in child and maternal wellbeing in the workplace.”
CCBU employees were thrilled and expressed gratitude to the company for giving them the opportunity to continue with their breastfeeding journey even when they are away from their babies.
“As a nursing mother, I am happy that I can now express my baby’s milk without worrying about comfort and privacy. I am glad the company has also given me a safer and more hygienic way to store and transport the milk home,” said Miranda Nansubuga, the sales administrator and a new mother at CCBU.
The new addition also speaks to CCBU’s commitment to promoting a gender-balanced workforce by supporting mothers to continue with progressing their careers, remaining productive and committed at work while fulfilling their family responsibility.