Adhikaar’s Quarterly Newsletter (October – December 2021)
Domestic Workers Program: Fight for Rights and Dignity
Training and service
Our Domestic workers’ program celebrated the end of the year with the graduation of 11 members from the “We Rise” nanny training. It is an intensive but extremely valuable series for Domestic workers interested in expanding and deepening their professional development as nannies and delivered in partnership with Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the National Domestic Worker Association. The training, led by members themselves as peer educators, focused on worker’s rights, nutrition, social and emotional childhood development, communication with families, home as a workplace, and pediatrics. Peer educators are orientated and trained by the Cornell University ILR School. Our Domestic worker staff and members also took part in a five-week organizer training.
Being a nanny is a professional career that requires a lot of skills and knowledge. Along with the nanny training, we also conducted CPR training for 20 members, in partnership with the American Heart Association, with Nepali interpretation.
To understand the history of domestic work through the lens of the worker and social justice movement, we held a planning meeting with lead facilitators who are our member leaders for the “We Make History” workshop series. On November 13th we launched the first workshop of the 17-part series with 12 participants. Developed with NDWA, this workshop series seeks to develop political transformation for our members as they learn about the labor movement in the Domestic worker industry. Members were also able to connect their experience here in the U.S. with their experiences and labor movements back in their home country.
NYC Care Campaign
In November, our Domestic worker program staff took part in a mini-retreat with the NYC Care coalition steering committee, Hand in Hand, Carroll Garden Associations, and National Domestic workers Association-NY where we reflected on our achievements in 2021. The retreat focused on upcoming plans for 2022 and also a strategy on how to implement the wins of Intro 339, a new law from our successful campaign, that extends the NYC Human Rights law to all Domestic workers. Our staff Yangchen Dolma also facilitated an info session with NYC Councilmember Felicia Singh on issues faced by Domestic workers, as part of the coalition’s relationship building with the new NYC council.
Adhikaar in New Jersey
As we push for a state Domestic Worker Bill of Rights In New Jersey, our member Shobha Bhusal shared her story with Assemblymember Raj Mukherji in October. In the next month, we also did a power mapping session with our New Jersey members to build out a collective analysis of targets, allies and opposition. In December, our staff and members rallied in-person along with NJ Domestic worker coalition to raise awareness on the bill that would help establish regulations between the employer and the Domestic worker.
Anti-Trafficking Survivors Program
In November, our staff and eight survivors from Adhikaar’s anti-trafficking survivors program attended NDWA’s anti-trafficking “Beyond Survivor ” program retreat with other participating partner organizations. During the retreat, members were able to express their life experiences through the arts and turned their emotions, struggles and feelings of power and justice into creative drawings.
Check out our first part of the newsletter on Immigration and Casework programs here, and stay tuned for the next part of the newsletter on our Nail Salon, Youth, and Health programs, along with the organizational-wide updates.