LagosMums interviews Mrs Ronke Adeniyi, the Proprietress of PoshBabiesandKids and Director of PoshPartyPacks on her creation of the website “helpsfromhell.com” to tackle domestic staff issues.
Why did you decide to create this website?
Great question! The website www.helpsfromhell.com was put up following a personal experience with a domestic worker which lead to my husband having a very close shave with death and severe trauma for my family for close to a year.
Another motivation was also due to the many stories I heard from friends, families and parents in my school. Everyone seems to have or have heard of a story or another and yet, we just laugh it off, get frightened for a bit, sweep it under the carpet and just carry on.
What are you hoping to change?
I am hoping to change quite a few things, some of which include:
- A new approach to the way domestic workers are hired which includes better screening processes.
- The often unavoidable over-reliance of parents on unknown domestic workers. People leaving their kids in the care of strangers yet locking away their cash and jewellery.
- To reduce the level of avoidable crime due to the level of trust bestowed on some of these people.
- To change and reduce the rate at which nannies and other domestic workers change roles and houses they work in. If these domestic workers realise that the public are on to them, then the high staff turnover of nannies will begin to reduce.
LOL! I get this question all the time and I have even had people reigning curses on the whole initiative due to the name.
The first thing you will find on the ‘About us’ page is this – Welcome to Helps from Hell which has NOTHING TO DO WITH HELL, judgment or condemnation of people, it is simply a catchy name to land you on this page.
The name was chosen to be controversial and also a bit uncomfortable for people. The initiative as is boldly written at the top of the page HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HELL in a spiritual sense but a name to get people thinking and wondering. AND also for people to actually be very careful of the ‘help’ they hire as it could be ‘a help from hell’. If you have a dangerous worker then you have a “Help from Hell”.
Essentially, people hire strangers in their homes and these people ultimately give them hell such as robbery, criminal damage, child abuse and in extreme cases death. I hope this sheds some light as to the name. It really depends on how one chooses to interpret it. ‘Religious freaks’ and those not patient enough to read and understand the initiative, its mission and vision may get it all wrong. IT REMAINS A GOOD CAUSE, A NECESSARY CAUSE.
We all had helps growing up why are the stories so bad now?
I believe that a lot of abuse occurred in the past and there were many horror stories then however many of the abuse have been covered up due to the society we live in; trying to protect our family name and the fear of not wanting to be stigmatised amongst others.
I also believe that many of the domestic workers in the past were not as exposed as the ones that we have today, there was a lot more contentment and they were happy to work and stay in a family for years. The new ‘get rich quick’ mentality is eating up people in society and a lot of these domestic workers also want to get rich quick.
What kinds of stories can people share?
ALL kinds of stories, ‘good or bad’. The good stories we can learn from the few lucky ones what works/worked for them when they hired their domestic workers and from the bad stories, we can learn to be more careful, learn from the mistakes of others and share experiences.
Is it possible for the help boss relationship to work?
YES, it is possible. Even when the domestic worker has a bad intention, it can be turned around for good usually (in my experience) by faith. The way employers treat them also matters, mutual respect for each other and also respect of human rights goes a long way in building a healthy relationship.
Any last piece of advise or how do u recommend people can find staff.
People need to be more careful and do better screening of domestic workers before letting them in their homes or offices. Much more should be done than taking the word of an agent or representative who brings them to you.
I have tons and tons of advise on how people can find good staff hence I will refer everyone to the website www.helpsfromhell.com.