Blondine Tsuses – Namibia

Blondine Tsuses – Namibia

Date: November 17, 2015
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Otavi Women in Textile provides this survivor of violence with a livelihood

“I make my living out of this project and I support my children”

Blondine is a single mother of four children who manages a textile business started and owned by a group of women who have survived gender based violence and those affected by it. She is head of the business and a trainer for newcomers. She embarked on this type of business because of the situation she was in and she was inspired by the idea. She feels that this business has played a major role in their lives since they were all unemployed but they had to take care of their children and their families. She confirms that the business is viable and the community support it.

Her business is a manufacturing business and her products include trousers, T-shirts, skirts, dresses, bedding, graduation gowns, toilet covers and traditional necklaces. Her and her colleagues’ lives have changed drastically because they can now afford to feed their families and send them to school. Her business came about as a result of the Gender Links training that she attended where she learnt about planning and writing business plans. She did market research for the business and found that the business was viable.

She says her project is not vulnerable to external disasters or any other phenomena as it addresses the immediate basic needs of the people. She feels that the business environment is good because there is not much competition. The operational space is good and well protected and it cannot be subjected to losses.

Blondine maintains that she is very grateful that she attended and participated in Gender Links training where she gained business skills like budgeting, marketing and controlling. She says the good thing about the business is that goods are manufactured and sold for cash. She is pleased that from the knowledge imparted to her about resource mobilisation, she managed to secure funding from the social security commission to start this business.

Blondine manages the business with seven women who do the sewing and manage the daily sales. She says that their products are even sold beyond Otavi, especially during annual trade fairs and local events. She added that the council also supports them by marketing their products and she hopes that the business will soon grow and expand to other towns.

Blondine Tsuses is a community figure who grew up in Otavi and she speaks all the local languages very well. She does not expect to face any language barriers in her business.

The business is fully registered with the relevant ministries such as the ministry of finance, ministry of trade and industry, Otavi town council and social security commission. She says that the business is well known to the community because its products have been marketed or promoted on a monthly basis through the local radio. Posters are put up and messages sent to friends and family members. Blondine says this strategic process has boosted the income of the business and this sustains the workers.

She feels that the training she received from Gender Links Namibia was relevant and it has transformed her living conditions and her way of doing things. She is now better able to make decisions. This means that her life has changed for the better and she hopes that the training will continue and will empower more victims and destitute women in the country.

Blondine is a driver of change who taught others that even if one faces difficult situations in life there is a better life ahead. Her example of surviving gender based violence (GBV) to become a successful entrepreneur is a living legacy to be emulated by other women in the country. She says everything was possible because of the knowledge she acquired from Gender Links. She wants to be an inspiration to others by addressing the root causes of gender based violence in her community and live in a GBV free society where both men and women live together equally.

Blondine’s most memorable experience was when she won at the district summit and was then invited to attend the national summit in Windhoek.


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