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House Helps in Kenya: 10 Gift Ideas on How you can Reward your House Girl this Christmas Holiday


It’s time for the annual Christmas holiday break, and for Kenyan mums who have employed house girls, their dilemma usually is whether they should give their house girl ‘something small’ as they travel home as a gesture of appreciation for her work, or if the girl deserves a reward of any kind in the first place.

Related: The Day I Found out my House Girl was HIV Positive 

I don’t have a definite answer for this, but what I know that the heart always dictates what one should do in such a situation. Truth is, you can never deceive your inner self, so my advice is that you just go ahead and do what your heart tells you to do. If you chose to give your house girl something, then do so with a sincere heart. If you chose not to, then be happy with that decision and stop looking for reasons to justify your decision -just be content with it.

So, I have spoken to a number of Kenyan mums who’ll be giving ‘something small’ to their house girls as they travel back home to be with their family and friends, and below is the different ways they will be doing so. You can get an idea or two or three about how you can reward yours as well. You can:

1. Do some shopping for her mum

2. Buy her mum a modern energy-saving jiko

3. Buy outfits and shoes for each of her children

4. Pay for her transport (fare) to and from home

5. Buy her a significant amount of mobile phone airtime

6. Give her a bonus (you can double her salary or an amount you can genuinely afford)

A Kitenge fabric or tailored outfit for her and/or her mom will be a good idea.
A Kitenge fabric or tailored outfit for her and/or her mom will be a good idea.

7. Take her shopping for a dress of her choice, or tailor a lovely Kitenge outfit

8. Pay for her salon expenses just before she leaves. Many girls like going home in well-done braids or freshly retouched hair

9. Buy one or two good quality solar lanterns (by the way these have plenty of health benefits to the users, especially in homes that predominantly use kerosene lamps –including the Koroboi (kanyitirira)

10. Gift her with a supermarket voucher. Because nowadays there are major supermarket chains in most towns, so she can stop by one on her way home and shop for her family there.

Related: Caroline Kinyanjui: I Have been with My House Girl for 13 Years

And by the way, if you chose to reward your house girl, remember you aren’t doing so as a bribe for her to come back in January. No, you are just appreciating her. Whether she comes back or not, at least you’ll have done what your heart told you to do. It also doesn’t matter if she’s been with you for just one month, 6 months, 4 years or 10 years. If your heart tells you to do good, then just do good. Then sit back and wait for God’s abundance in your life :).

Feel free to share any other reward idea that you have. Meanwhile, read more Kenyan mom’s experiences here.

Happy holidays!



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.



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