An unscrupulous village agent arranged for Heem, a man in western Nepal, to fly to Malaysia for a furniture-making job. Things didn’t turn out the way Heem was promised they would


A false promise

Heem, a man in Nepal: There is an agent in our village. He asked me if I’d like to go to a foreign country. I had to pay the air ticket myself. And I had to pay the agent. I had a medical checkup before going abroad.

I went to Malaysia to make furniture. I did packing. There was sawdust.

We men slept in a small barracks room. There was a fan but no windows. It was hot.

By the eighth month I was there, I had trouble breathing. I had a fever and there was blood when I coughed. I was very thin.

I worked there for about a year. I got paid only 90,000 rupees (800 euros). When I returned to Nepal, I had tuberculosis and leprosy.

I took medicine for a long time. Now I feel better.

Caritas Nepal’s partner gave us a loan to buy chickens. Now we sell the chickens and make a little profit, especially during festival time.

Interviewed by Laura Sheahen