Children at Zaira daycare centre in Hargeisa/Naimo Said

 Two young women entrepreneurs in Hargeisa have set up a daycare centre for children whose parents are out working or studying.

Saynab Isse and Sahra Abdullahi Adan are the founders of Zaira child care centre, which they set up after seeing the challenges faced by parents trying to balance their family life and work.

She noted that they have invested in getting trained care givers so that their parents get to work without worry.

“I have seen women in business or studying who had to drop out to take care of their children. There were also children battered or burned by domestic maids. That is what motivated me and my friend to set up this organisation,” said Saynab.

They currently have 28 pre-school children in the care of trained carers at the centre that opened a few months ago.

Farhiyo Hassan Ibrahim, a mother of four children, returned to studying in May after dropping out in her third semester in 2019 to take care of her children.

“I would be worried if I left them early. My children are younger than four years but now I am able to continue my education or even work. My children are safe, and they get good care,” she said.

Zaira employs six women who care for the children from four months up to six years old. Parents pay $50-70 a month for the daycare services.

Sadiyo Mohamed, one of the carers, works six days a week and provides entertainment and some basic lessons for the children. She said she always wanted to teach young children and likes her new job, which also supports her own family.

“I get to play with them, I feel happy being with them. The children have become part of our lives. It’s good to see the young children growing up,” she said.

Most of the parents using the facility are returnees to Hargeisa from the Somali diaspora, like Fadumo Mohamed Hassan, who runs a business in the city that was on the verge of closure due to her domestic pressures before she put her three children in daycare.

Fadumo said she previously put them in an elementary school but used to worry about them during the recess time.

“I love my country and I have moved back here because I can get everything here. I would get worried about my children in school, but they are safe here and they can grow mentally. They get everything to keep them entertained,” she said.