Across the world, new moms face the universal dilemma of finding the balance between taking care of their children, working, and day-to-day responsibilities. If you are a parent, you will probably agree that the needs of your children come before your own. It’s no different for Zainab Matumbi, an accountant from Kimbanda WMA, who has a 9-month-old child. For Zainab, attending all-day workshops isn’t exactly feasible when her baby needs to be fed every 3 hours.

The representation and role of women in local governance and natural resource management is critical. The SAGE process (Site-level assessment of Governance and Equity) created by the International Institute for Environment and Development (iied) is a tool that helps Honeyguide and its partners listen to all the stakeholders of a protected area and develop long-term strategies with these communities that contribute to their own livelihood and conservation agendas.

So how do we get new moms to participate in local governance if they have young children to care for? Honeyguide wants to make sure that all women stakeholders have the opportunity to participate in workshops so that their voices are heard. Honeyguide’s workshop kit includes an instant creche that provides mothers of young infants the opportunity to participate and focus whilst their little one is in good loving hands. Prior to each session, participants will be asked to communicate if they need childcare so that they can participate. Then, a nanny is hired to take care of the children for the duration of the workshop – free of charge to the mother. 

“This was the first time I attended a workshop where they had a place for my little child; sometimes in these workshops, you want to concentrate and listen, but you cannot ignore your child who also wants attention,” says Zainab. 

Due to the provision of the creche, Zainab was able to invest two days into the workshop that provided her colleagues in Kimbanda WMA and their partners with a long-term vision that will build equity and governance within their WMA.