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Hong Kong's first group of Bangladeshi maids share hopes for the future

The first group of domestic helpers to arrive share their hopes and dreams for the future

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 May, 2013, 9:30am

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 questions by Bangladeshi and Hong Kong reporters are similar, but Hong Kong reporters ask us more about the money

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.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

Allanarrow
I'm sure that Technic is taking a hefty fee from the Bangladeshi agency, maybe 60% of the $13000. Where are the ladies getting the money to pay? The news this morning says that the workers in the garment industry there are making around US $75/month, so it is pretty clear that the ladies will be taken to a lending institution here in HK (as is the practice with Indonesians) and borrow the $13,000, part of which will be sent back to the agent in Bangladesh. I'm not condemning the practice, but let's be honest about it. Technic's costs must be around HK $10,000 per placement, so $4000 from a HK family is not going to cover their costs. Of course they will have a cut from the Bangladesh agency. That is the way the industry works. I hope you'll do a follow up story on these ladies in a few months to see how they are getting along.
 
 
 
 
 

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