Mauritius: Nina’s Story

Date: October 9, 2019
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My name is Nina,  I was born in Montagne Longue but I grew up and lives in Solitude village. My mother was working as a servant and my father was a laborer working in the sugar cane fields. I have two brothers and 3 sisters and we grew up in a happy but poor family. My mother was working very hard to help us get out of poverty. She was working at several places from washing the clothes of people and cleaning their houses to get money to raise me up and my siblings. My father as well as helping and besides being a laborer, he was also selling watercress to get some additional money.

My parents were leaving us with our neighbors when they went to work and after our school hours. Our neighbors used to make me and my siblings work and clean their entire house. They would not pay us for it but actually they were only using us.  It was like we were doing their housework as we were grateful to them for looking after us and allowing us to stay in their house when our parents went to work.

I was going to school and studies till Standard six only. I was staying at home after that and I went to learn how to sew clothes and basic fabric work. I was 13 years old at that time. Besides this, I was also doing housework for my paternal aunt and I was working at another’s lady doing housework for free. With time and the experience, I got in doing house chores, I started working for people till I got married. This was my main work but I was also helping my family members who were also planting vegetables to sell.

I got married when I was 20 years and my husband was 25 years. My husband was the only breadwinner and was working to sustain his family, his three sisters and three brothers.