Botswana: Mable Dintle Lebekwe

Date: September 20, 2018
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“I feel more at peace, emotionally”

In the year 2013 I met with Gender Links and they put us in entrepreneurship training to help us prepare our business plans. They taught us the different types of business along with the need for business. They went on to teach us that by starting our own businesses we could improve our standard of living. Since meeting with Gender Links, my life has turned the other way round; I have learned how to prepare a business plan, I met with other women like me staying in hotels, enjoying comfort and forgetting all about the abuse previously endured.

Gender Links helped me by preparing my business plan which assisted in my progression when applying for funding. At Gender Links, the most helpful person I came across was Mrs Ntsabane who was very encouraging and told us that being abused does not mean it is the end of the world. She also ensured that social workers were helpful to me in taking my kids to school. Other influential people in my life were the social workers and my children.

I learnt that if you are going through any form of abuse you should seek out some help and also stand up for yourself. I also learned I could provide for myself by starting my own business, which I did. One of the changes that have occurred in my life is that I was able to start my own business; currently, I have a registered tree nursery business that has been operating in Mochudi which is doing quite well. This has helped me move forward with my life and become independent.

I have acquired multiple skills and knowledge through working with Gender Links; preparing a business plan, business mentoring, how to start your own business and  handling financial records including cash flow.

This change has made a big impact on the lives of those I live with so much so that I feel more at peace emotionally. They, my family, are very happy to see the positive change, that my life is back to normal and that I am more expressive. This change has influenced my family greatly and they insist that I introduce them to the Gender Links organization.

Ever since coming together with Gender Links I have not experienced any abuse. I did however, come across some challenges with regards to my business; a shortage of labour, the heat burning my plants, a shortage of water needed to water my plants and funding assistance. I have had to find different ways to tackle these challenges but I am managing so far.

My plan for the future is to live an even better life than now; have a garden shop and a big farm. I am grateful to Gender Links for the time they gave me. My wish is that Gender Links could grow and continue to help all troubled individuals in need of their help.