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Holistic Training at Purnaa

by Rachel Hibberd

Life skills training at for marginalized people

“Purnaa” is a Nepali word that means whole, complete, and fulfilled. And so at Purnaa, our mission is to provide more than just a job but also opportunities for staff to become whole and live fulfilled lives. Poverty and injustice are not just economic issues. They are results of broken relationships, unjust social systems, lack of education and opportunity etc. Often these factors contribute to people developing marred identities which can hinder them from rising out of the cycles of injustice and poverty. This is why at Purnaa we offer holistic training for our employees.

While working at Purnaa, employees receive more than just job skills; they are also equipped with training and experiences that help them grow and develop as a person. Currently in our holistic training program we focus on 4 areas:

Life Skills

When a new employee joins us at Purnaa, during the on-boarding process, we spend time training on basic life skills such as literacy, numeracy, health, budgeting and safety. In addition to this, our HR staff has been certified as facilitators of a parenting class by the International Child Development Program (ICDP). More than 50% of our employees have now become certified caregivers as a part of this training.

Company Values

Purnaa has 5 company values; love, excellence, integrity, justice, and beauty. We have bi-weekly trainings with all employees to discuss each of our values. We focus on what each value means and how we can all live them out at work and in our lives. These times vary from talking about love languages to going out and picking up trash around our neighborhood. We intentionally focus on how to make values-based decisions and to act according to these principals.

Leadership in women


Once a month Purnaa managers and sewing team leaders gather at lunchtime for a “Leadership Lunch”. This time is spent discussing what it looks like to be a good leader. Recently we went through the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. We also cover topics such as servant leadership, trust, and conflict resolution.

Group Work

At Purnaa our staff work in teams. Once a month each team has what we call “team time” together. This time focuses on team building as well as group work activities that are meant to help the individual grow as a person. The activities focus on 5 main areas; communication, dealing with emotions, problem-solving, relationships, and self-awareness.

This holistic training program is a part of our effort to empower employees to become whole and complete, free from the enslaving cycle of poverty that surrounds so many of them. We want Purnaa to be more than just a job, we want it to be a community that promotes growth and well-being for the whole person. It should be a place where employees are equipped to live fulfilled lives.

This blog is the start to a series where we share more about our holistic training program. Check back for further updates on the training offered at Purnaa.


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