Nanny loves and cares for children as if they were her own

“I don’t treat her as a maid but as part of our family,” Ms Shehab said. “My sons love her.”
Ramile Templa has looked after Aly, 3, and Abdulrahman, 8, for several years. Delores Johnson / The National
Ramile Templa has looked after Aly, 3, and Abdulrahman, 8, for several years. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // Ramile Templa is used to working overseas. She spent two years in Sharjah and three in Hong Kong before coming to the capital seven years ago.

The 37-year-old maid and nanny works far from her native Bacolod City, in south-central Philippines, to help support her family.

Like so many Filipinas around the world, it was a painful decision for her to leave behind her own son, Ramil, then 18 months old, and take care of other people’s children.

Ramil is now the same age as Abdulrahman, the eight-year-old son of her employers, Ehab Emam and Eman Shehab. The Egyptian couple have another son, Aly, who is three.

“I don’t treat her as a maid but as part of our family,” Ms Shehab said. “My sons love her.”

The boys affectionately call their nanny “Melly”, and they look up to her as their second mother.

Mr Emam told how sad his sons had been when they flew off on a visit to Egypt with their mother, leaving their nanny behind. “I saw Melly crying for three days,” he added.

Ms Templa has grown attached to the children and says she loves them dearly, like they were her own.

“I’ve seen both boys grow up,” she said. “I don’t know how it would be when it’s time for me to leave Abu Dhabi for good.”

Abdulrahman said: “I love Melly because she’s cute, she loves me and is kind to me. Aly and I cried last time because we wanted her to come with us to Egypt.”

Ms Templa proudly showed off her bedroom where she is free to use the Wi-Fi to check and update her Facebook account.

“Melly loves gadgets,” Mr Emam said. “She has two BlackBerrys, an iPad mini, an MP3 player and gold jewellery. I know that I can trust her to look after my children.”

Ms Templa said she sympathises with maids forced to flee their employer’s homes because they are mistreated, overworked or not paid.

“I feel comfortable here,” she said. “I’m given some degree of freedom when it comes to managing my time but I’m also aware of my limitations. I don’t overstep my boundaries.”

She said she had heard stories of maids being abused by sponsors, but was lucky to have found employers who respect and treat her well.

In return, she helps Ms Shehab keep the three-bedroom flat clean and tidy, assists with cooking, and has the boys’ undivided attention.

“When we are out with our friends, she’s attentive to the needs of my sons,” Mr Emam said. “She acts like a supervisor to our friends’ children even if their nannies are with them.”

Ms Shehab is also pleased with her nanny’s work ethic. “She likes to clean and even comes up with her own schedule,” she said.

“I can’t imagine our life without Melly,” Ms Shebab said. “I told her as long as we are in Abu Dhabi, we hope she will stay with us.”

rruiz@thenational.ae

Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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