Here at the office, we are built on foundations of holistic care of our employees. From our very beginning days, we have made sacrifices and decisions that allow us to think beyond the bottom line. The physical, mental, financial, relational, educational, and spiritual care of those in our company is important to us. We sow into these values in different ways. Daily, this means healthy in-office meals and free, safe childcare, among other things. On more of a weekly basis, this might look like spiritual conversations, counseling, and birthday celebrations. The examples could go on, but my personal favorite way of intentionally investing in our employees in a non-production way is by hosting educational seminars.
A few times a year we pause production and bring in an expert to teach a certain topic. Our first seminar in January, 2017 was a medical one, three days long, taught by an Indian doctor, and Indian nurse, and an American nurse. I myself am a nurse by trade, and while the Indian experts graciously led this seminar, I got to observe and support from behind the scenes. It was so fun for me to watch and learn from them. The response from our employees was so positive. Experts covered topics such as balanced nutrition, female hygiene, spread of disease, and a whole section affirming each woman’s value as well. The entire seminar was so personal and impactful, and practically useful. It was a huge encouragement to all of us, and we couldn’t wait to do more!
Since then, we’ve been blessed to have done several more excellent teachings. Our dental seminar, for example, was another big hit. A wonderful local dentist friend gave her time to come and teach our team about how best to care for our teeth. This topic is one that makes most Indians’ knees knock. Everyone has seen someone have a terrible dental experience, so there is a lot of neglect and misconception about how best to take care of the mouth. Dr. Judith kindly, wisely, and with humor, broached this important subject, and then did in-house dental check-ups on all of our employees and their children. Because of that, several of our employees gained the courage to go and have much needed follow-up care done on their teeth.
Fast forward to October, 2021
Our company has weathered the pandemic, just like everyone. We’ve pivoted a thousand different ways. No surprise. We’ve spent much of the last two years treading water. Just trying to keep the doors open. Trying to stay sane. And stay healthy. Things like seminars didn’t happen. Of course. Yet, we had our first seminar this month, after a good long while, and it felt so good. To be in a place where we weren’t spinning our wheels every minute to make up for lockdown production time. To be able to take a half day for something “non-essential”, that really might be the most essential. To be able to learn and laugh together.
This month, our local friend, who is a Child Health and Nutrition specialist, came to teach about God’s heart for each of us, and how to care for our bodies and our families in the best possible ways. She was fantastic. We learned so much, and laughed, and felt seen.
I don’t know how to wrap this one up. Except that I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the people who frequent Ziyada’s website, who are into what we do, enough so that we can provide the essentials and the non-essentials, that really are still essentials. I’m grateful for experts who are willing to give their time to build up women and, therefore, whole communities. I’m grateful to be part of it. To watch it. To champion it. Maybe soon I’ll share one of my other favorite teachings. Stay tuned. Thanks for doing this with us.