A Survivor Returns From Qatar

IN ADDITION TO CULINARY TRAINING, THE JOURNEY HOME FOUNDATION GAVE ME A SHORT-TERM LOAN.

I was interested in going abroad when I heard that a neighborhood friend had gone to the Gulf to earn a decent income. Being the eldest daughter, it was my responsibility to take care of my brothers and sisters.

I had to handle all domestic affairs in our household, including sending my brothers and sisters to school, as my parents rarely returned home from the farm. With the intention of earning more money to support our family, manage schooling for my brothers and sisters, and be more independent, I decided to go to Qatar. I visited the district headquarters and got my passport.

Because I was underage (below 30 years old), I was not permitted to go to Qatar according to the Nepal government. Thus, I was required to use a broker to travel through India.

I was assured by the broker that I would be paid Nepalese 30,000 rupees per month. Following a nightmare of traveling difficulties, I landed in Qatar to work as a housekeeper. Unfortunately, my boss and his wife were like devils; they were very cruel. In addition to having difficulties with the language. I was always being scolded. They always made me wash bundles of clothes and clean piles of dishes. I was badly beaten if I was late for work. I was not allowed to call my family in Nepal. My employers neither paid me nor gave me enough food to eat; I had to depend on leftovers. Moreover, I could not leave the compound or I would be beaten more. As a result of this frequent physical and mental torture, I made a number of unsuccessful suicide attempts.

Luckily, I was able to escape from this prison-like house. I met other Nepalese workers who paid for my ticket to return to Nepal. However, I found that women who returned home from Qatar were viewed negatively. I experienced this immediately at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal when the airport staff created many difficulties for me.

The loan of 150,000 rupees which I had received to enable me to go to Qatar had not been repaid. So I decided to go to Kuwait to earn money to help repay the debt. But the people in my village discouraged me from going and promised to help me run a business if I pursued that.

At this time, the Journey Home Foundation became a great help to me. I received culinary training from the Foundation. In addition to culinary training, the Journey Home Foundation gave me a short-term loan. Soon afterward, I started working at a hotel and was able to pay off my debt. I have decided to run a restaurant for the livelihood of my village.