I was studying for a degree in Business and Management at the University for the Creative Arts but unfortunately I didn’t pass one of the assignments. The professor overseeing that part of the course then left and so I wasn’t able to retake it immediately. They said I would have to go back to Nepal and try and come back again which didn’t seem like a good option.
My parents are connected to Stephen Hammersley, the Chief Executive of Pilgrims’ Friend Society, through charitable work in Nepal, where they run a hostel. Stephen heard about my situation and asked if I would like to work in care. That’s when I applied for the role and received a Certificate of Sponsorship through Pilgrims’ Friend Society.
I’d known older people in my church back home and have grandparents but I’d never worked with older people. This was a new experience for me. There was a lot to learn in terms of rules and regulations. At first, language and communication were quite difficult. The family members and I didn’t always understand each other.
I’ve now been here for a year. My English has improved and because I now know the family members so well I can understand what they want, sometimes even before they ask me. I’ve learnt a lot about care. It’s about being very kind, approaching people in the right way, and being very positive. When I help the family members, I do it from my heart, not just to finish the job. It’s about giving them a good life.
The family members are very appreciative of us. They thank us for all that we do. They are always interested to hear about me and my faith in God. At Christmas, one lady gave me a little present of some nuts to say ‘thank you’.
As a staff team, everyone is very hard-working. The other day, I was speaking to a colleague who has been here for ten years. She said that the team we have at the moment is the best it’s ever been. For me, it’s been interesting to have colleagues who are much older, more like my parents’ age. In Nepal, people stop working much earlier at around 35. I’m the youngest staff member. I have a friend from Nepal who also works here and soon my older brother will come and join the team too.
When I moved to Worthing, it was the first time I’d seen the sea – Nepal is land-locked. I’m struck by how clean everywhere is and how polite everyone is. People greet each other nicely and say ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ a lot. The culture is very courteous. Settling into a church wasn’t easy at first. I found in a big church I was lost at the back. Now I’m going to a smaller church and it’s been easier to get to know people.
In the long term, I’d like to open a Nepalese restaurant. Nepalese food is quite distinctive – we have our own way of doing dumplings and preparing curries. I love working in the kitchen. That’s my dream.
My other big love is music. I play the guitar and sing. I’m thinking of doing a Masters degree in music while working part-time at Koinonia. John [the manager at Koinonia] is always encouraging me to perform for the family members. One day I will...
More on living and working with us...
Koinonia Christian Care Home is a 38-bed home in Worthing, West Sussex
How sponsoring care workers from overseas is helping us to address staff shortages and enrich life in our homes
We're looking for great people to join our team. Could you come and work with us?