When I first met Ram Kumari Chaudhary, she was an extremely shy, but solemn, 19-year-old. She told me she wanted to go to work in Jordan to support her parents, adding that there were few opportunities to find a decent job in Nepal. Soon afterwards, in 2017, I learned that she had found a job in Jordan’s booming garment industry, earning, on average, around US$350 a month. Every three or four months she faithfully sent back about three-quarters of her salary to her parents in Nepal. Continue reading
Imagine that you had a family to feed and moving abroad was your only option to earn a decent wage — but you didn’t know where or how to find work overseas. Or imagine that your daughter works abroad but that you haven’t had any word from her for months and months.
Or ask yourself what you’d do if you were injured at work a long way from home, with a hospital bill you couldn’t afford and an employer who refused to pay you as much as you’d agreed.
After completing high school, I left Kathmandu for the United States to pursue a higher education. That was around 15 years ago and back then, most young people who left Nepal went to similar destinations in the “developed world.”
Not my cousin. He dropped out of high school and went to work in the Middle East. Close to two decades later he still works there, having just left Nepal for another two-year stint.