Tshepiso Bareng – Botswana

Tshepiso Bareng – Botswana


Date: July 26, 2016
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“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”

We started the entrepreneurship training with the “I” story workshops. It was very painful when people were sharing their stories and I could feel that my story was not as bad. The abuse that some went through was very sad, but at the end we were comforted and encouraged to heal. Talking about it made one feel better as did writing it down, as a way of telling others that they are not alone.

I have shared all the knowledge and guidance I gained from Gender Links training. One woman is currently working with me at my salon and I pay her. She has listened to my advice and changed her life. These days she is fully rehabilitated and she even talks about opening her own salon.

I have opened my own salon where I plait hair, cut hair and do other different hairstyles. I am an Avroy Shlain agent selling perfumes and cosmetics. This business does not make very much but it gives me enough to renovate the space that I am using. I want to make my business look professional so that it attracts more customers. I plan to do this by adding another room to the space I have so that it creates a space for my salon. My salon is registered and trading lawfully. Gender Links has taught me a lot as now I keep financial records, bank my profits, know how to use my business money and I give good customer service. I now realise a profit and can do something great like renovating the building in which my business is situated.

My most memorable experience with Gender Links (GL) was when I received an award for taking part in the Botswana national summit. It was the first award I had ever received. My life has changed a lot now and I can support myself and my family. I have achieved a great deal and have bought furniture for my house. My family are very pleased with how my life has improved and they appreciate it, because now I live happily. When I have many customers my family come and assist and they also pay me when I do their hair. I have managed to open a bank account for the business which I think is an achievement. The council has assisted me to get funding from a poverty eradication programme. They bought equipment and start-up stock for the business. Before opening my own business and after training, I worked under Tirelo Sechaba for a few months and I managed to get training on business management.

People from the community are now interested in owning their own businesses as they have seen how my life has changed; they come to me for advice on how to get funding. Since I am unqualified to give counselling due to the abuse I suffered, I always advise them to go to the social worker from the Kanye Council. Some of the people that I assisted have managed to get funding and they will be starting to operate very soon

Gender Links should continue training women to help them change their lives. I am always available if GL want testimony as to how this training can change one’s life. GL should think of giving people certificates showing which topics were covered in the training as this might assist one to get a job or get funding.

During the training, it was very challenging for me to acquire money for transport on the first day. But through God I always found a way of receiving it or asking people to lend it to me knowing I would get a refund from Gender Links. There was also an issue raising funds for me to start my business but in the end I managed and my business is performing very well.

My aim is to develop my salon and then open some outlets in different parts of the country. But I also want to engage in other businesses. I would like to open boutiques and a restaurant as I have heard these can also make a lot of profit. I am very grateful to God for the blessing that he gave me that I was able to encounter and get trained by Gender Links. Again I would like to form a group of women, especially those going through abuse like I did, to try and give them hope. If I become successful I would like to invite Gender Links to work with me.

 


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