Date: February 10, 2020
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I was working for an NGO called ‘Aides, Infos, Liberte, Espoir et solidarite’ (AILES) when I joined training at Gender Links. I did not have much knowledge and only knew how to make noise to achieve justice. This training taught me about my rights in the society and how to ask for it in a proper manner. I usually face discriminatory practices and did not know how to stop it. In this training I learnt how to defend myself using the proper tools. I also learnt how to talk to people, how to respect them and make them respect me in return. All courses at Gender Links were enriching and motivating.

I attended all three phases of this entrepreneurship training, as for me it was the necessary tools I needed to move on in life, both personally and professionally. I was a sex worker, always on the street facing violence from the police. I did not know about my rights and could not do anything apart from letting the police torturing me. Today I am a changed person. I am a social entrepreneur. I fight for girls on the street; girls who faces violence, who are harassed and are raped.

Everything in this training was useful to me. Especially the booklet ‘Know Your Rights’ I received from Gender Links. With the support of both AILES and Gender Links, I learnt how to make my voice heard without using foul languages. This was of great help to me. The Municipality of Curepipe assisted me in various ways, like helping to organise a Candle light. Professionally, I also got the assistance of PILS on various occasions, like helping to raise the awareness of people on HIV and doing capacity building training.

Before joining Gender links, I had a partner who was extremely violent. He used to force me to the street; to do sex work and earn money so as to buy hard drugs. I then left my partner, quit drugs and started with the methadone substitute program. Gender Links has a huge helping hand of where I am today. The pestering and violence from the police has decreased to great extent. I know my rights and where I stand. I can now defend myself from any trouble.

As for my close relatives, they used to support me and are still standing by my side. Even my dad motivates me to pursue the good job I am doing. Earlier, when I was a sex worker, I felt stigmatized by the look of the people in the community. I was marginalized. But today they show me respect and have a positive view on me. People even come to ask me for help whenever there are difficulties at community level. I feel proud and satisfied.

Today I am independent, I earn a good and honest salary and I can satisfy my own need. Due to the training offered by Gender Links, I feel extremely pleased and satisfy with my life. I am proud to be called a social entrepreneur. With AILES, I even got the opportunity to travel to Reunion Island to give a talk on HIV. And in the near future, I may have the chance to attend a workshop on sex work in Kenya. All these opportunities has act as powerful tools to transform myself into a better human being. I now want to provide assistance to all people who face Gender violence.

My goal is to achieve the best practice for methadone issues and the needle exchange program in Mauritius. I also want to fight against hard drug issues which are becoming real dangers for my Island. Otherwise there might be an increase of HIV cases and this will endangered the public health. I am also planning to write Human stories to show how people in difficulties like drug addicts are achieving success. I want to inspire people, as everyone in the society deserves a second chance. My dream is to have my own NGO to fight against evils like HIV and hard drugs in my society. I will do it. Unity brings success and I will unite people for one good cause.