Nepali Artisans Speak: Meet Sita
In Nepal, we partner with an Artisan Business that focuses on providing dignified work to people who have experienced or are vulnerable to exploitation. These Artisans utilize beautiful traditional textiles to create accessories our customers love. Today we’re introducing you to Sita, one of the talented makers who brings our Nepali Collection to life.
When I first started at this Artisan Business 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. [Note: Human trafficking is a major problem in Nepal. Often, young girls will be lured abroad with the promise of a good job, only to find themselves trapped in an exploitative situation. Source]
I have a good job here in Nepal at this Artisan Business. 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 work here, 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 as an Artisan with Noonday’s Partner Business, 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 here 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 in the workshop.
What is your favorite thing about working with Noonday’s Partner Business?
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 our workshop.
Anything else you want to add?
After working here I did not know how to put money in the bank account; I was nervous to use an ATM card. But the business gives us our salary in the bank, so now I can proudly use my ATM card. It’s not hard, but my employers 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.
We love partnering with amazing Nepali Artisans like Sita to help them build better lives for themselves and their families! Want to support Sita and her friends in the workshop? Shop our Nepal Collection.