Ellen Patana – Zimbabwe

Ellen Patana – Zimbabwe

Date: November 25, 2015
  • SHARE:

Determined to fight gender based violence in my community

“The entrepreneurship programme gave me the relevant skills to form an organisation that works with victims of gender based violence,” Ellen Patana.

Gender Links (GL) helped Ellen Patana to speak out and let go of the problem that was preventing her from prospering in life. She spent many years living as a prisoner of her past. The situation reduced her to being an unproductive and destitute person who depended on other people for survival.

Patana is a divorcee who worked very hard to become a shining beacon in the community. Her zeal to fight GBV was deeply rooted in her past life experiences that were marred with emotional instability. After her marriage failed, life was not easy for her because she lost all hope and she had suicidal tendencies as she was convinced that the next life would be better.

“GL made me realise that divorce is not the end of the world. They equipped me with entrepreneurial skills so that I can be self-sufficient. The confidence I gained during the entrepreneurship training helped me to bury the past and move forward. I managed to set up a small business selling vegetables, tomatoes and fruit. The business was not in tandem with my lifestyle since I am a community worker,” Ellen Patana says.

Patana took advantage of the experience of working as a community worker to achieve her goals. She combined her work experience with the newly acquired entrepreneurial skills to form a community based organisation whose aim is to fight GBV in the community.

“The idea occurred to me after GL pointed me in the right direction. I tried to register the organisation as a trust but the social welfare department advised me to register it as a non-profit making organisation owned and controlled by a board of trustees. I got inspiration from the English idiom which says, ‘experience is the best teacher’ and I saw fit to educate other people on gender based violence through my organisation. This was after I realised that it was very important to impart the knowledge I gained from GL to other women,” Patana asserted.

GL training equipped Patana with counselling skills and she is helping both victims and survivors of GBV. The community based organisation that she formed works with local law firms so as to educate women on their rights. She also educates children from local schools on sexual abuse and trains them to protect themselves from abuse. The social welfare department has officially tasked her to educate children on sexual abuse after realising that she was very passionate and willing to save the children.

Since the community based organisation is a non-profit making organisation set up on voluntary basis, she set up a small business to survive. She specialises in selling perfumes and the business is very profitable. She used US$20 to order perfumes from Harare at US$1.50 each and sold them at US$4 each. The idea occurred to her after she realised that there was a high demand for cosmetics in her area.

Patana plans to rent a flea market so that she can sell a variety of products and not specialise in only one product. After saving enough capital she has plans to open a grocery shop in her community because people walk long distances to buy household goods.

The skills she obtained from GL helped her to be able to balance community based organisation work, community work and her small business. Patana confessed that if it was not for the organisation’s timely intervention she would have remained in the squalor that she was then living in. The developments that took place in her life influenced many people. She managed to help many people who are survivors of gender based violence through her community based organisation.


Comment on Ellen Patana – Zimbabwe

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *