I can still remember the evening that I met Claudia. She and two other women sat in front of us, explaining their daily lives as housecleaners in Durham, NC. “Four, five, six houses a day”, that’s how many houses that each of the women said that they can clean a day and for only around $8.50 per hour. Think about that—six entire houses per day. The physical pains are undoubtedly exhausting enough, but the mental stress that these women must experience knowing that despite their daily hard work, they will still struggle to support their families each and every week.
Hearing Claudia’s story one on one during our interview and going to her home for filming reinforced the magnitude of her story and the impending need for the publication of our videos to create change. Claudia’s family livened the house and her daughters put a smile on her face that could not be seen while she talked about her work. Filming with her and seeing her interact with her children that she barely gets to spend time with due to her work was extremely special.
It pains me to understand that many people would simply see Claudia as a housecleaner because she is so much more. She is a youthful and high-spirited, family-oriented woman with valuable life experiences just like any other person. She should not be defined by her job. This is the importance of the work that we have done over the semester because despite the policies and such that are in place surrounding this work, those policies affect people and the stories of the people are what truly matter. Thank you, Claudia, for telling your story, and for helping people to understand.