“When I would wash dishes, I’d think, ‘this is my future. I will wash and wash and wash and one day I will get old and then die’.”
When I first started at Purnaa I was not sure if this would be the right place for me. I had planned to go abroad, to Dubai, Malaysia, or Saudi Arabia to make more money. But slowly, slowly as I worked here I realized I don’t need to go abroad to work as a slave. I have a good job here in Nepal at Purnaa. I am very happy that my mind was changed; now I don’t want to go to the Middle East. I even advise other girls not to go to, because I know of a safe place to work.
I am so thrilled whenever I see my photo on the wall. I have never been treated with respect at any other workplace. But here everyone is equal and the owners feel like family members. When I come to Purnaa, it doesn’t feel like it’s a job. Every day is a new day, and coming here doesn’t feel like coming to work, but coming to my home. And best of all, there is no more slavery in my life.
How do you want to grow in the next year?
My goal is to learn more about every machine we have. My plan is to be here long term, not for just a few years.
How long have you worked at Purnaa and how have you changed since being here?
I have worked here for a year and a half. Before working here, I used to work in a kitchen. In Nepal, people have disdain for dishwashers; and I was a dishwasher. There was no respect. When I would wash dishes, I would think, ‘this is my future. I will wash and wash and wash and one day I will get old and then die. There is no hope to grow or do anything.’ But then I came to Purnaa and am so encouraged because now I have a skill, a hands-on skill. So I am no longer in a low place in Nepal; I have a good position. I know how to operate real machines after working at Purnaa.
What is your favorite thing about Purnaa?
My favorite thing is how the owners treat the employees. The way they behave, how they care about their employees. In Nepal, bosses and owners often treat employees badly. But not here. Not at Purnaa.
Anything else you want to add?
After working at Purnaa I did not know how to put money in the bank account; I was nervous to use an ATM card. But Purnaa gives us our salary in the bank, so now I can proudly use my ATM card. It’s not hard, but Purnaa gave me the opportunity to learn how to do this. That is one thing that makes me happy, to go get my money out of a bank. It is totally different.