Bangladeshi domestic helpers who have just arrived in Hong Kong were happy to share their aspirations yesterday before meeting their employers.
The 11 women are the first official batch of helpers from Bangladesh to work for local families.
Lucky Akter, 25, who was a kindergarten teacher in her hometown for five years, said she planned to stay in Hong Kong for seven years. "I want to use the savings to build a kindergarten [back at home]," she said.
Khadiza Akter, 24, who is married with a son, said she would like to stay for five years.
"My husband is a driver and I want to buy another car for him so that we can start our own business," she said.
"I also want to give my son a better education."
More than a dozen journalists were at the Bangladesh consulate to meet the maids. The women said they were exposed to the media before they came.
"The questions by Bangladeshi and Hong Kong reporters are similar, but Hong Kong reporters ask us more about the money," said Rokeya Akter, 23.
The helpers paid a Bangladesh agency about HK$13,000 - more than three times their monthly salary of about HK$4,000 - to apply for the job.
Local agency Technic Employment said it did not collect fees from the domestic helpers.
Middleman fees from the employers were about HK$4,000 each.
Of the 11, eight were Muslim and the remaining Buddhists.
Bangladesh consul in Hong Kong, Mirana Mahrukh, said while Muslims could not eat pork, it was acceptable for them to touch and cook it. She said religious beliefs would be unlikely to create problems for the Bangladeshi maids and their employers as domestic helpers from Indonesia, also a Muslim country, had worked well in Hong Kong.