Prakriti Kharel spent 12 years in Israel as a care-giver and is now back home in Jhapa. She says she was lucky to have good employers, her salary was good, and she got bonuses, insurance and gratuity.
She says Israeli law protect workers, but the job itself can be demanding and Nepalis seeking work in Israel need to be physically and emotionally strong. This advice is especially relevant as Nepal prepares to send hundreds more caregivers to Israel.
Israel tightened its second lockdown this week after the country recorded 8,000 new Covid-19 infections in a single day on Friday. Israel now has the highest per capita rate of infection in the world, with mostly elderly people affected by the coronavirus.
Nepal and Israel are set to sign a bilateral government-to-government agreement to send 500 additional auxiliary workers in the nursing sector including hospitals, nursing homes and day care centers. On 22 September the cabinet authorised Nepal’s ambassador to Israel Anjan Shakya to sign the agreement which will likely take place this week.
As a government-to-government agreement, intermediaries will not be allowed to play a role. Sourcing workers from Nepal was banned in 2009 after malpractices in the recruitment of Nepali caregivers, including exorbitantly high recruitment costs. The previous pilot program in 2015 had also tried to cut out recruiters, but failed to mobilise any workers.
“It is important to understand what exactly this work entails,” Ambassador Shakya said on the phone from Tel Aviv. “Geriatric care is not easy work. It is physically demanding and requires a lot of empathy and emotional strength as well. Workers need to clearly understand this, or else they will be disappointed when they arrive here with false expectations.”