27 New People Hired!
We are excited to announce that we have added a new department at Purnaa! 27 new people were hired! Instead of sewing, this team is hand-tying fishing lures. The new team includes 1 assistant project manager, 4 quality control members, 4 packing team members, and 18 fly-fishing tiers. This is the largest intake of employees we have ever hired at one time and it was very exciting for everyone.
Choosing who to hire from the many, many applicants is always challenging. As a social enterprise we are committed to empowering those from marginalized and exploited backgrounds into fresh starts through dignified employment. But, we can’t hire people based only on their need. New hires must also demonstrate an ability to learn the work. And so, we conducted a full week of interviews and skills assessment to determine those that would be the best fit for the job and for our social mission. Everyone received an individual interview and two days of skills training to see how quickly they learned the skills and if they would enjoy this type of work. Today, we are confident in the people we hired becoming some of the best fishing lure manufacturers in the world! They are already off to a great start.
With many new employees coming from backgrounds where basic education was denied, or where they experienced extreme abuse or trauma, we strongly prioritize equipping them with knowledge that will help them to “catch up” in life. So we implement life-skills training half the day and job-skills training half the day for the first two months of their new job. The life-skills training covers topics like: financial planning, basic math and literacy skills, nutrition, parenting, individual mental health counseling, physical health, and group times to identify and recognize self-worth. During the training, the values of Purnaa and why they are so important to the business are also taught. In January, the team will move to full days of manufacturing.
Purnaa had the goal of creating 8-12 new jobs within this year and this new department has helped us to far exceed that goal. This has been a wonderful opportunity to make a new product and create so many more opportunities for fresh starts and fulfilled lives.Sonja Kraft
Give the Gift of Hope
Many Purnaa employees come from marginalized or exploited backgrounds and were denied the things needed for a healthy life. The Empowerment Fund helps them access services beyond those traditionally provided by an employer, giving them opportunities to get healthy and “caught up” in life. This assistance is made possible by private donations given to Purnaa’s Empowerment Fund from people like you.
While Purnaa is a business, and we believe in market driven solutions to change lives, we also see that sometimes we need to be able to do more than what a business can provide for our staff. Purnaa works to ensure that all staff can access trainings that equip them for healthy lives and dignified employment.
So, annually we fundraise for Purnaa’s Empowerment Fund, an account that is solely funded by generous individuals, to enable us to offer services like those listed below.
We anticipate needing $40,000 USD this coming fiscal year to continue helping in these ways. The Empowerment Fund is run separately from Purnaa’s business accounting and is made possible by gifts from people like you. Would you consider partnering with us to empower more people to freedom? Donations are tax-deductible.
HOW TO GIVE:
Purnaa partners with Youth With A Mission – Colorado Springs.
Click HERE To Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Online.
To Give By Mailing a Check:
Make checks out to Youth With A Mission, and include a separate note that it is for “Purnaa’s Empowerment Fund”. Mail to:
Donor Services, YWAM, PO Box 60579,
Colorado Springs, CO 80960Katrina Bryant
Safety Comes First
Here at Purnaa, one of our values is “Excellence”, which drives our commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. Recently we had a training to review company safety procedures, first aid responses, and ergonomic practices.
One of the topics covered was what to do in a fire and how to use a fire extinguisher. At Purnaa there are fire extinguishers next to the doors on every floor. Should there ever be a fire, it’s important we are confident in using these extinguishers; so we practiced during the training. Fun! We reviewed the importance of how to safely get out of a building that has a fire and the proper times to use the fire extinguisher. The fire extinguishers located at Purnaa are all-purpose ABC dry chemical extinguishers and can be used on almost any fire.
Earthquake safety was also covered during the training time. Nepal is located along a fault line, so earthquakes are something that everyone needs to be prepared for. Purnaa has earthquake alarms on every floor that will sound before an earthquake starts. We also have a designated meeting point outside that everyone is required to report to once it is safe to leave the building.
Basic first-aid was discussed so that everyone can be prepared should someone get hurt during an emergency or during daily activities. At Purnaa we have two designated areas that contain first-aid supplies so that all staff have access to them at any time.
Along with safety for emergency situations, ergonomics was also discussed. Ergonomic hazards occur when the type of work you do, your body position and/or your working conditions put a strain on your body. Ergonomics is used to eliminate or reduce the wear and tear on the body. When ergonomic principles are applied in a workplace, they improve efficiency and productivity, increase job satisfaction and reduce the risk of fatigue, short-term pain and chronic illnesses, such as work-related musculoskeletal disorders. We discussed the importance of taking work breaks, stretching, adjusting chairs to the correct height and good seating posture.
Periodic reviewing of emergency procedures, first aid and ergonomic practices is an important part of keeping Purnaa a great place to work. Fortunately, while we do sometimes have earthquakes and an occasional workplace injury, we feel confident in our responses because of our training times.Sonja Kraft
Taboo but Important
For our monthly staff life-skills training, Purnaa invited Kanchan Shrestha from Kalyani Nepal, to come and share about women’s health and hygiene and to de-mystify and address some of the misconceptions that abound throughout Nepal about women’s menstruation.
“Puberty starts a monthly exile. An entrenched, superstitious practice linked to Hinduism, Chaupadi, considers menstruating women impure and bad luck, rendering them untouchables. Menstruating women are banished, often to forests where they sleep in crude, cubby-like sheds or caves, braving extreme weather and lurking predators, from snakes to rapists.”
The recent deaths were caused by animal attacks or other factors such as fire from trying to keep themselves warm. During Chaupadi, women on their periods are not allowed to come into the kitchen, sometimes the whole house, or touch other members of the family. At night they are forced to sleep in a shed-type building outside of the home, usually in unsanitary conditions.
In Kathmandu, the practice of sending women outside to sleep is not as common, but women can still be treated differently during their menstrual cycles and are often not allowed to be in the kitchen or to touch others.
Since these deaths, Nepal has passed a new law banning the practice of Chaupadi. The BBC reported:
“The new law, passed on Wednesday, states that menstruating women or those who have just given birth should not be ‘kept in chaupadi or treated with any kind of similar discrimination or untouchable and inhuman behaviour’. Under the law anyone who makes a woman observe the custom faces a three-month jail sentence and a $30 (£23) fine.”
Here at Purnaa we want everyone to know how valuable women are and how menstruation a normal part of being female. Shrestha taught about the importance of treating women and young girls with respect while on their period. She was very open and encouraged everyone, men and women, to ask questions. The responses were very positive with many engaged in the discussion.
Shrestha’s organization, Kalyani Nepal, promotes re-usable feminine products. She taught the importance of maintaining good hygiene while on your period and how to care for the re-usable menstrual products that she passed out to each of the women. Since Purnaa has a high value on sustainability, these reusable products were very well-received.
Although the views of menstruation will not be changed overnight, at Purnaa, we want to promote an accurate understanding of women’s health and respect women in all aspects of their lives.Sonja Kraft
Parenting Training At Purnaa
Recently Purnaa Human Resources staff, Anu and I, attended an International Child Development Program (ICDP) to get trained in facilitating a parenting class. As a part of the 12 week program, we concurrently ran a parenting class for Purnaa staff. Here are some of my favorite parts of the course I attended and the group Anu and I facilitated.
“Central to the ICDP programme is the desire to develop communication between the child and his/her caregivers; and that the process is based on the child’s cultural resources. The main elements of the ICDP programme are the 8 interaction themes that describe how through three dialogues adults can optimize their ability to support children’s development.(Theme 1-4) The emotional dialogue helps establish, maintain and develop the adult’s contact with the child. (Theme 5-7) The meaning and expanding dialogue increases the child’s opportunities to learn. (Theme 8) The regulative dialogue helps the child to control his impulses and to learn to plan”
8 Key Themes on How to Have Positive Interactions With a Child:
1. Express positive feelings
2. Follow the child’s lead
3. Talk to the child about things that interest him/her and try to establish an emotional communication
4. Give praise when the child does something well, and show him/her recognition
5. Help the child to focus his/her attention so that you can enjoy the experience of your surroundings together
6. Give meaning to the child’s experience – describe what you experience together with enthusiasm
7. Go into detail and give explanations when you experience something with the child
8. Help the child to learn self-control by planning together, by showing leadership and by setting limits in a positive way.
The overall experience of ICDP as a facilitator has changed me into a whole new person. I have changed my perspective, seeing every child as a person, putting myself in their shoes, having equal empathy to each child no matter where they have come from or who they are. I have become more sensitive towards them and I have learned to become available. My listening skills have improved a lot and I have started to apply the love languages more often.
A few things stood out to me during this program. The first was the conception of the child: having a positive concept towards the child, respecting their personal and cultural values and seeing the child as a person. This topic was one of my favorites because this doesn’t just apply to children but to all generations. This helped me to respect and love people as an individual, not for what they have achieved but for who they are, created in the image of God.
Another topic that stood out to me was emotional dialogue with guidelines, expressing positive feelings and showing the child love. This has been my favorite part of ICDP training because I was able to connect with those I was teaching and find out what their and their children’s love languages are. Love languages are different ways that people express and feel love. The love languages include, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time and gifts. They were able to improve their relationships not just with their child but with their spouse, family and friends as well.
The ICDP program was a lot of fun and a great success. They taught us many new concepts and practical ways of implementing those concepts in day-to-day life. I’m happy to have taken this training and to have become a facilitator of the program at Purnaa.Rebecca Shrestha
Expert Help in On-Going Skills Development
Suzanne Allibone has been back at Purnaa for the past few weeks providing training for some of our staff members. She has over 20 years of experience in garment manufacturing and has worked in Australia and many parts of Asia. This is her third time at Purnaa, and we are delighted to have her working with us again.
She has focused her training with our sampling and cutting teams, teaching new techniques and helping to improve their skills.
With the cutting team, she focused on increasing our cutting accuracy through improved marker usage. Markers are large sheets of paper that efficiently layout all the pattern pieces to be cut. We trace the patterns onto the paper, then layer the fabric to be cut, and then place the paper on top of it. We stabilize the paper using weights and then cut the fabric using a rotary blade or vertical knife cutting machine. “The paper is stable, it doesn’t move, so everything you trace out is incredibly accurate,” Suzanne stated as she showed the team how to refer back to the marker for checking cut pieces for accuracy.
Suzanne has also been working with our sampling team. She reviewed the processes of testing a new pattern by sewing a first test sample, designing to certain sewing techniques that will make later production easier, and creating tricky sleeve patterns.
Suzanne said, “I’ve been very impressed with the sampling and cutting teams. The girls are great. They can’t get enough…there is a lot of information I can input, but the challenge is not to overwhelm them and not to feel the need to tell them everything. So it’s more like a coaching. What I’ve been doing more is coaching and mentoring, which is what I really love.”
At Purnaa, one of our core values is excellence. We believe in always striving for excellence in what we do, and one way to do that is to provide on-going training for our staff members. Suzanne has been very helpful to our team and we were thankful to have her back with us.Sonja Kraft