Cleaning company hopes to make impact in housekeeping industry

A mission that is more than brooms

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - When you're raising a family on your own, day to day life can be cluttered.

“Pretty hectic. I’m a single mom,” said Morgen Alexander, a busy homewoner and a mom. “I have a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old.”

So like Alexander, you might hire some help. She turned to SAFI Home Works.

"This was the one company that really talked about how important their employees were to them," said Alexander.

Their company is unique. They use only green products with no chemicals. But it’s who they employ that makes them stand out more.

Cleaning is a chore Consolee Nyamitavu is thankful to do.

"We clean everywhere there's a mess," Nyamitavu explained.

She's thankful because she can work.

Nyamitavu is a refugee from Africa. She escaped Congo to go to Rwanda.

"After that we got war in my country," said Nyamitavu. "My family members. Some were killed."

Tragedy brought her here, moving to Tucson nearly two and a half years ago.

Since then, her life has changed.

"We are at peace," said Nyamiavu. "We don't worry about anything."

SAFI hires refugees, like Nyamitavu, because one of the owners is an an immigrant herself.

"I know how hard it is to find a job, and be confident about yourself," said Minami Espinosa. She moved to the U.S. from Japan.

She and two others got the company going last year because they met a refugee woman working in housekeeping at a hotel.

"She was telling us how unfairly she was treated," said Espinosa.

It's what made Espinosa want to break the stigma of housekeepers not being respected.

"Cleaning isn't an easy job," said Espinosa. "It's physical. You need technique and need to know exactly what you're doing."

It's all about technique and teamwork.

She works closely with her employees, just like Nyamitavu.

It's a family she's happy to have in the states.

"They show me love and I love them too," said Nyamitavu.

She and Espinosa work together to make a house feel like home for others, like Alexander.

"It's time I get to spend with my children or doing other projects around the house," said Alexander.

Happy to do so in the country that did the same thing for them.

"I'm very happy because I'm at peace," said Nyamitavu.

SAFI's company name comes from a Swahili phrase meaning 'clean conscience.' Their website says they chose Swahili because it's the most common language of new refugees in Tucson.

You can learn more at http://www.safihomeworks.com/.

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