A Mother’s Thoughts on Her Daughter’s Departure to Japan
MJBL: Despite her delayed departure to Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please tell us your feelings about the current situation.
I never imagined that the COVID-19 pandemic would have such long-lasting effects. I thought my daughter would be leaving for Japan soon as she had already quit her previous job at an NGO last year and has been without full-time employment for over a year. She received an offer to return to her old position, but she rejected it saying she would have to once again quit when she was able to move to Japan for training. When I think about our financial situation, I wish my daughter were able to work, but she is unable to find work even in Kathmandu. I am hoping she can go to Japan soon.
MJBL: We heard that you initially avoided telling your daughter about the MJBL recruitment process. What was your reasoning behind that?
In Nepal, there are many unscrupulous temporary staffing agencies through which many young people are often deceived into bad situations. Because my daughter is a precious member of my family, I was too worried to tell her about the opportunity. However, she heard about the application process from others and applied on the last day, it seems. She was angry when she asked me why I didn’t tell her. Since then, I met the farmer who would be mentoring her during her stay in Japan, and think I have mentally prepared myself to let her go.
MJBL: The farming mentor is a strawberry farmer. Since she has been helping in the family farm from a young age, we believe that she will get acclimated quickly.
That may be true, but Japan is a land of many rules and regulations, so even within the scope of the farming industry, I believe the environment will be very different and she will need to work very hard. Since Shahansila was little, she was never selfish and understood family and household matters. Although her name was originally Sila, we added Shahan, which means resilience, and she became Shahansila. No matter what the circumstances, I believe she will persevere in her work.
MJBL: What are your expectations of your daughter as she embarks on the MJBL Apprenticeship Program?
I want her to learn skills that she can use here in Nepal. And, when she returns to Nepal, I would like for her to purchase her own land on which to grow strawberries. Because we are a single-mother family, we borrowed land from someone else to grow corn, radish, green beans, cucumbers, and strawberries to make a living. The pick-up truck came around 1 in the morning, so sleeping well wasn’t really an option for us. For all that hard work, I would like for my daughter to be financially independent.