Esther Kachana – Botswana

Esther Kachana – Botswana

Date: November 29, 2015
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“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”

I started the Gender Links (GL) entrepreneurship training in 2013. My most memorable experience as part of this training was when we shared the challenges we faced in life I realised that most women are abused. Sometimes we do not recognise it is abuse until someone tells us and to overcome these problems we have to struggle and stand up for our rights. Hearing the comforting words from the facilitator, Gomolemo, made me realise that I have a purpose in life and I felt encouraged to start changing my life.

I have shared my experiences about gender violence and how it can be overcome with people from my community. I also encouraged people to go and see social workers for guidance and counselling and get professional help. Since most men are perpetrators, I try and sit down with these men to help them to realise that what they are doing is wrong. Again I share the knowledge I got from Gender Links about owning businesses and I inspire women from our community. I have registered myself with many organisations like LIMID and youth organisations, so that they can call me to go to workshops. For instance, LIMID offer courses on poultry, small stock and how to handle livestock.

The training was very useful for me as I learnt a lot, such as how to do a business plan, market research and cash flow and how to manage financial records. I also learnt about abuse and the different types of abuse. The training helped me because it encouraged me in many ways; it improved my self-esteem and motivated me. I am currently running a tuckshop at home selling small things like sweets, airtime and drinks and I am also a student as I realised the importance of business management. I keep financial records for the business so I know how my business is doing.

I previously experienced violence from my partner but my life has changed now because my boyfriend is supportive and has stopped abusing me. Again there has been a change because now I earn my own money from the tuck shop and I can pay my tuition fees. Since I am now motivated, empowered and skilled I do not depend on my partner to support me financially. I have realised that once one is empowered there will not be violence in one’s life as one will be financially stable and know about abuse. My family is very supportive and encourage me to keep working hard as they believe in me. They help with the tuckshop when I am at school.

Gomolemo has been very helpful from the start. She was very encouraging and told us that we can achieve whatever we want in life if we work hard. She has motivated me to work hard and I even see the need to be educated and that is why I am now undertaking the business management course. I am grateful to the social worker who assisted me and told me to attend Gender Links entrepreneurship training because the training has had a huge impact on my life. I have grown emotionally and financially and I can advise people.

The main challenge is the issue of funding. I am still on waiting lists for funding from the Youth department and Gender Affairs. Because I am still a student I want to get my qualifications and then continue with the process of raising funds. I will keep running the tuck shop and living on the profits. I will also increase the range of products that I sell so that I can increase the profits.

My future plans are to register my business and then grow it by opening a shop and a restaurant. Once it is fully operational I want to open different outlets in different parts of the country. My aim is to employ more people and encourage more women to achieve whatever they want in life. I want to encourage Gender Links to keep doing the great job they are doing and I suggest that at the next training they give certificates to the people who they train.




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