Bosao Monyamane – Lesotho

Bosao Monyamane – Lesotho


Date: May 29, 2012
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I am a psychologist working with traumatized children in Maseru. I work with their parents and guardians, and am mainly involved in counseling. I first met Gender Links in 2011, and remember being overwhelmed by the passion of the staff. I have been interested in women’s issues for a long time, since it is so central to my work; I was very happy to see a showcasing of practices across the region.

I learned that South Africa has made vast improvements in bringing women into the work force, particularly in male dominated fields. I was very happy to see many of these cases, and I hope that Lesotho is making positive advances in this area as well. This is a gift that Gender Links has given me; exposure to different practices across the region, and experiences of countries throughout SADC.

I first connected to Gender Links through what seems like a wonderful accident. Just at the time when we were trying to learn more about the links between our work and GBV, ‘Ntolo and Mpho, the Gender Links representatives in Lesotho, came into our center, and explained the work they did. There was even a summit coming up around that time. We decided to see where this connection could take us, and Gender Links supported us in planning and preparation. We made it to the summit, and that has been the beginning of a strong relationship.

What I found incredible was the passion of the founder of Gender Links. I could not believe that there was someone who was so passionate about changing peoples lives, to gather so many people in one place, and to be so driven. She established a platform to make sure that all our work can come together. GL has done such an amazing things. It was such a great experience, to know that I am fighting the same battle that you are fighting. But how are you fighting yours? I have so much to learn!

As people were presenting at the summit, I was able to pick up what people were doing, and to learn from them and talk to people and take their contacts. One highlight during one of the outreach programs was when we visited commercial sex workers who are living with their children. From another point of view, I saw that another organization could benefit. This organization was working with women in prison, sex workers, teenage pregnancies, and teaching women IT skills, while others were learning beadwork. They were all receiving counseling. It made me think of the kinds of things I am also capable of.

The biggest reward working with Gender Links has brought me has been the acknowledgement for what I do. It makes me see what is possible, and know the value of the work we are doing. We have passion, but there are also so many obstacles. If there aren’t resources, or we are facing opposition, it’s easy to get discouraged. But by constantly being connected, and being reminded, we are inspired by how much one person can start. It gives me the courage to push ahead.

Now, I have new ideas in my work. I saw a project being presented, and scaled with shelters and other facilities. It made me realize that it can be valuable to build more interconnectedness into my work. I have been expanding my counseling work with children, but now I’m thinking about how it can grow. Rehabilitation alone is not enough; we need to look at connecting to schools, or even creating special educational facilities where there is a gap.

I come from a background where we accept that women do as much as they are allowed to; but Gender Links has changed my attitude towards women. Coming to a platform where women are already established has changed my views. We can, we can and we really do so much. My general attitudes towards gender are very positive now. I give Gender Links a tick.

The skills Gender Links has imparted on me have helped me progress in my work. I am a stronger communicator now, and given the highly emotional nature of my work, this is very important. I am able to talk to my director more effectively, and bring out my own thoughts and ideas clearly. While we have always had a positive working relationship, we are growing even closer as I am more articulate in sharing ideas.

When I step back and reflect, there are so many women in my life who have been an inspiration to me. The director of my organization is one of them; she makes me think I could start me own organization one day. My mother has also been a great source of support, because she believes so much in me and my work. Both of them push me to improve. They give me the confidence I need to be a leader.

Changing peoples lives is a slow process, but I think I am a part of bringing change, however small. I have started a project for young people. I got the idea because I could tell there was something wrong with my community, when adolescent boys were ending up in prisons. Now, we are reaching out to a range of young people, and doing what we can to bring change in their lives. I want to develop this project in the future, and make sure it continues even if I am no longer there. There is a lot that needs to happen, but if we all do our part, change will come.

 


2 thoughts on “Bosao Monyamane – Lesotho”

Matsiu says:

Hello can I please have your personal contacts, I need to book for a counselling for me and my husband.

Neo says:

hi Bosao, I need a psychologist specializing with children in maseru. please help with referral.

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