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Gulu University Guild demands safe space for breastfeeding students

Gulu University Guild President elect Francis Okot. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The newly elected Gulu University Guild President, Francis Okot wants the institution management to create a child-friendly space for breastfeeding mothers who are students.

Okot and his team also want the university management to procure play materials, and space for babysitters from where the infants can play and be taken care of while their mothers attend lectures.

The team said that this can be done by renovating some dilapidated structures in the university since there are currently more than ten breastfeeding students noting that there is also a need for a girls-changing room.

Okot said after his victory that Gulu University lacks safe and child-friendly space making it hard and unsafe for them to attend lectures and also to attend to their babies.

OKot’s Campaign Manager Otema noted that the initiative was key to their manifesto adding that they will immediately engage the management of the university to have it addressed immediately with resources at hand.

According to Otema, the mothers and their babysitters shift from shade to shade while breastfeeding their babies, cannot concentrate in lectures, and some of them travel from the university and back home to attend to their babies.

He noted that this not only affects their safety during the travels but also undermines their concentration in class hence affecting their performances.

One of the breastfeeding mothers at Gulu University who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the situation is hard for her especially during the rain when she cannot find shelter for her baby and the babysitter.

James Onono Ojok, the Gulu University Deputy Spokesperson said that the university is cognizant of the needs of the breastfeeding mothers adding that they also intend to create such a space.

Francis Okot, a student pursuing Business Administration and Development Studies was on Saturday evening declared winner of the 22nd guild presidential elections after beating three other candidates.



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