03 February 2021

Khadija – An example to all cleaners

On December 3rd, our colleague Khadija el Bouayadi won the title of ‘Cleaner of the Year’ at the Golden Services Awards. Today we look back with Khadija on her win.

When we ask Khadija if she expected to win the title ‘Cleaner of the Year’, she immediately answers “Not at all actually, but my supervisor Haiam did. She kept saying that she thought I was going to win the prize. And she was right too. I think it’s super nice that I won. If you win something and you don’t expect it, then it really feels like a surprise”. For Khadija the prize means more than just being able to clean well. “I do my best and clean well, but there are people who can probably do better.” That modesty is to Khadija’s credit. But as jury member of the Golden Service Awards Albert-Jan Hoefnagel also said during the presentation, with this she does herself short. She is an example for the cleaning industry.

Khadija – An example to all cleaners

Law study

In 2001 she came to the Netherlands from Morocco. A big transition. "In Morocco I studied Law, but because the rules are different here I could not continue with that study. I had to start all over again." Khadija is not someone who sits by the wayside. So she started 19 years ago in the cleaning business and she still enjoys it. It is also easy to combine with her family. Khadija is a real family person. Her 3 daughters mean everything to her. Smiling, she says: "Our house is full of pink and purple stuff, a real women's house. I am very happy with my children and have the best intentions for them. We do a lot together. On the weekends we like to go hiking or shopping. It depends on how much time there is, but if we can do something fun together, we do it right away."

Her strength

Khadija has been one of the regular faces at Hotel Ernst Sillem Hoeve since 2007. She works there during the day, 5 days a week. Her strength lies in working with her team, her flexibility and open attitude towards guests and colleagues at the hotel. "I find the contact with guests, the hotel and my colleagues very important and fun. Besides wanting to do my job well, I like to help with questions. And a chat here and there also makes it cozy."


In the evenings, Khadija also cleans office premises. A double job, three children and a household to run is hard work, but she enjoys going to work every day. "My work means a lot to me. I have no family here in the Netherlands except my children. Through my work I have contact with people and I can integrate better. Also my colleagues make the work fun. We have a very nice team that feels like a kind of family. If one of us has problems, we can always turn to each other for advice or to listen to each other."


Since December 18, the hotel has been closed due to corona measures. Khadija is not used to doing nothing for so long. Laughing, she says: "It is also unhealthy, we have already gained a few kilos. I do move around, but not as much as during work. I love being able to work and be busy. Besides, I miss my colleagues enormously. I therefore hope that the hotel can reopen soon."

SVS training

Khadija not only won the title 'Cleaner of the Year', but also a training with SVS. "I am super happy with the award, because I would like to continue to develop myself and grow further." For Khadija, the time is now ripe, too. "I had the opportunity to follow a course before, but at the time it was not possible to combine it with work, small children and housework. Now I'm totally ready for it!"

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