The su­per­women we can­not live with­out

Nan­nies short­listed for award to recog­nise the vi­tal role they play

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Veathika Jain @veathika

Whether jump­ing into a swim­ming pool to res­cue a child, help­ing a sin­gle mother raise her fam­ily or car­ing for sick kids, nan­nies are cru­cial to many house­holds across the coun­try.

And this week­end, the most ded­i­cated and hard­est work­ing will be hon­oured at a cer­e­mony de­signed to recog­nise the role they play.

More than 200 nan­nies were nom­i­nated by their em­ploy­ers for the Best Nanny Award and at­tracted more than 100,000 votes.

Now, the list has been short­ened to a group of 20 Mary Pop­pins fig­ures who will go be­fore a panel of judges this week­end for the ti­tle of Best Nanny.

Pad­mini Gupta, CEO of the Rise or­gan­i­sa­tion, which aims to pro­vide fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for do­mes­tic work­ers, founded the award and said her group was taken aback by the re­sponse.

She said: “We were told that there weren’t enough peo­ple that would even care, but from the minute we posted the awards, we had tens of peo­ple ap­ply­ing daily.

“What we found is that peo­ple re­ally care about their nan­nies, about sup­port­ing them, and their chil­dren, and fam­i­lies.”

An award to hon­our the UAE’s best nan­nies has at­tracted an in­cred­i­ble 100,000 votes for 200 do­mes­tic work­ers. Or­gan­ised by Rise, a start-up that seeks to help do­mes­tic work­ers build a bet­ter fu­ture, the Best Nanny award is in­tended to show­case the im­por­tance they play in the coun­try’s house­holds. Whether they res­cued a child from drown­ing or helped them with their stud­ies, the scheme has thrown up all man­ner of heart-warm­ing tales. Here we look at some of the 20 nan­nies short­listed ahead of the fi­nals on Satur­day.

NAME: Dana

EM­PLOYER: Veron­ica Smul­ders

AGE: 40


TIME WITH FAM­ILY: Al­most a year

NOM­I­NATED FOR: Saved son

Veron­ica said: “Dana is proac­tive, with an in­cred­i­ble level of com­mit­ment and re­spon­si­bil­ity, or­gan­i­sa­tion skills, mo­ti­va­tion and love for my chil­dren and the fam­ily.

“Once we were at the club and the baby was at the kids’ pool next to me. I turned one second away and he fell down and was drown­ing [a mat­ter of three sec­onds]. Dana ran into the pool as I turned my­self to pull him out. She is re­ally car­ing and ac­tion-ori­ented.”

NAME: Basma Sin­suat Abas


AGE: 48



NOM­I­NATED FOR: Strength af­ter tragedy

Alia said: “Los­ing her hus­band a year ago and hav­ing to take care of her seven chil­dren alone, along with her grand­chil­dren, is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity. But she raises us as if we were her own chil­dren. “I still re­mem­ber the time she es­corted me to the hos­pi­tal when I fainted when no one else was home. She truly

de­serves to win the award.”

NAME: Eufemia Espir­itu (Mia)

EM­PLOYER: Tani De Gere­go­rio Man­zano

AGE: 35



NOM­I­NATED FOR: Fire res­cue

“I left the house early in the morn­ing with our baby girl while Mia stayed home with my two-year-old son. “An an­nounce­ment was made via the loud­speak­ers in our build­ing, fol­lowed by a fire alarm. “She quickly grabbed our son and ran down the stair­case with him. “It was only when she ar­rived


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