As many as 150 nannies participated in the ‘Shine & Dine’ event held in their honour in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a heartening initiative, several residents of Dubai celebrated the work of their house helps, by hosting them to a gala dinner at a five-star hotel over the weekend to express gratitude for their unwavering support.

The ‘Shine & Dine’ event, organised by HELPILY, an initiative by two Dubai-based mums Aditi Menon and Jean Pereira, received an overwhelming reponse, with employers of 150 nannies, caregivers and domestic helpers signing them in.

Menon, mum of two girls aged eight and six, told Gulf News that she was inspired by her own experience with her children’s nanny, to recognise the work of the often-overlooked household heroes.

Dubai-based mums Jean Pereira, Helen Farmer and Aditi Menon at the 'Shine & Dine' event attended by 150 nannies, caregivers and domestic helpers in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

“I moved to the UAE from the US where I lived for 15 years. As someone into event management, I realised how I would not have been able to pursue all that I did had it not been for the help and support I receive from my girls’ nanny. When I spoke to my friend Jean, also a mum and fellow event specialist who had the same experience, we agreed we should do something for our indispensable helpers.”

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Pillars of support

She said, “Our nannies and household managers are pillars of support who go above and beyond, dedicating themselves tirelessly to caring for our children and maintaining our homes. Often far from their own families, they selflessly make our expat lifestyles smoother and more manageable.”

Pereira said, “Our roles are demanding, whether we are stay-at-home mums or work outside. We rely so much on our domestic helpers, but they often undervalued and underappreciated. So we wanted to foster a more supportive and inclusive community environment while acknowledging their work.”

Joyful environment

The two women said the overarching goal of HELPILY is to nurture a more joyful and thriving environment for this community. “We want to introduce innovative platforms designed to promote relaxation, motivation and overall well-being. From appreciation dinners to engaging picnics and skill-enhancing workshops, we want to nurture a supportive community here in Dubai,” said Pereira.

An evening to remember: The 150 nannies who bonded at the event take a moment out for a group picture. Image Credit: Supplied

The nannies at the event, who were registered by their grateful employers, were equally thankful.

Reshika Jayasooriya, a nanny from Sri Lanka, said, “It was an amazing event. It was the first time that I attended an event like this. I had super fun with all of us taking part in games and getting gifts and prizes. Felt blessed to be treated as part of a family.”

Regine, another maid from the Philippines, said, "It was a great experience. I attended the event along with three other nannies, inclding my aunt. We nannies work hard for our families back home. It was good to unwind, dine, dance and participate in the games organised on the occasion. I am very thankful to my employer for registering me for the event."