A holiday job as a babysitter turned into a nightmare experience for a 17-year-old schoolgirl after her employer allegedly refused to pay her and instead chased her away.
After she was chased from the house where she was employed the girl had no option but to sleep at a service station at Keetmanshoop without any money.
The girl, who travelled about 1 000 kilometres from Onamahoka village in Ohangwena Region to Keetmanshoop after she was informed by a friend of the vacancy for a babysitter, is now stranded after she was booted out of her employer’s house after an argument over her wages.
Not only was she kicked out of the house, but her employer has refused to pay what is due to her, leaving her without any food or money to return to her village. She has since been sleeping on cardboard boxes at Puma Service Station.
A teary-eyed Veronika Abraham narrated to New Era that a friend had told her that a woman here was looking for a babysitter and after she finished her Grade 10 exams, she travelled on October 31 to the capital of //Karas to start work, as she was hoping to earn some money to use next year if she passes Grade 10.
She said before travelling to Keetmanshoop, there was an agreement that she would be paid N$1 000 per month, but after she started working the woman changed the agreement and told her she would only be paid N$600.
After working for a month she was summarily fired and chased from the house when she asked about her wages.
“When I asked her to pay me she refused and she chased me out of her house. I’m suffering as I don’t know anyone here,” she said, struggling to hold back her tears.
She said since she was booted from the house on Sunday with no blanket and no money to go back to her village she has been sleeping at the service station.
Since her eviction from the place of her temporary employment she did not have a decent meal and she now depends on the goodwill of Good Samaritans for food and drinks. “I don’t have money. I don’t have anything to eat and it’s really hard,” she explained.
Seeing her struggles on a daily basis, two women who are street vendors in the area, came to her rescue and decided to take her in for a while and send her back to her village once they have collected enough money.
They say they saw the girl wandering around up and down, looking lost and hungry and upon enquiry they realised she needed urgent help, as she was completely stranded.
Loide Nakashona and Erna Kanases have since pledged to assist the girl by taking her to Nakashona’s house.
“It’s very dangerous to leave a young girl like her to sleep at the service on cardboard boxes. It’s just not safe, so we have decided to help her,” said the compassionate Kanases.