Gloria Titos – Mozambique

Gloria Titos – Mozambique

Date: December 1, 2015
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“I am a case study in person: my life is a learning journey. I learnt the hard way”

“As I move forward, sometimes I look back and realise how change happened in my life, I see such progress sometimes I do not believe that it is me who struggled for so many years both emotionally and economically. My life has changed and I am committed to changing other women’s lives,” says Gloria.

“I would like to thank Gender Links for the work that has been done in empowering women with business skills, not only in Mandlakazi, but also in other councils. Although I recognise what GL has done and is still doing, I encourage GL to extend the programme for more councils because, based on my experience, there are many women out there who need to be trained in order to grow socially and economically. GL should continue training, monitoring and evaluating as it is doing now to see and listen to the changes happening in women’s lives”.

Gloria is a hands-on woman, she now calls herself the Gender Links case study in person. “I am a case study and I matured through Gender Links training and I am a multi-tasking woman”. Besides the work she does at the council, she is the president of the women entrepreneurs association. She has two small shops, one where she sells seeds and agricultural equipment and another one where she sells food, specialising in soup.

With the two shops Gloria has managed to create two jobs. She took the GL team to visit one of the employees and see the impact the job has created in her life. Gloria also works as a social advisor, she advises various groups of women that see her as a good example of success and someone who did overcome violence and sustain her family through business.

Before joining the GL entrepreneurship training, Gloria used to grow chickens for almost two years, although the business did not go as planned because many other people have the some business in the same area. The competition was steep and Gloria did not yet have an eye for business.

The situation ended up driving her to failure. Not succeeding in this specific business, Gloria decided to move on and started farming and selling vegetables that she was also using to sustain her family. With no eye for business, Gloria used to think that she was in control of the business, without realising that she was not saving, much less properly managing her business. Mixing up income, expenditure, profit etc., led her to various failures but she never gave up until “one day Gender Links arrived with the entrepreneurship training which saved me,” claims Gloria.

Like other women, Gloria attended the three phases of the entrepreneurship programme. It was during this time that Gloria was able to recall her mistakes in the past and she then did market research and found there was a market for agriculture and soup, a decision that was made based on evidence and knowledge generated from the training. Gloria then started to enjoy doing business and learned from her past mistakes created by a lack of knowledge. With the profit Gloria was able to send her children to school. They had been forced to stop studying when her husband got another wife and left her with the children without supporting or sustaining her.

Although Gloria had suffered, she mentioned that the suffering that she went through was a school for her to learn the hard way and she matured. She said: “I am a mature woman. With the money I make I am able to pay salaries for two staff members and keep aside money to buy more stock for the shops”.

Gloria uses her story as a learning journey to encourage other women who get discouraged with life’s challenges and have given up on life. She explains: “As I move forward, sometimes I look back and realise how change happened in my life. I see much progress, sometimes I do not believe that it is me who struggled for so many years, both emotionally and economically. My life has changed and I am committed to changing other women’s lives.”

I remember that before I joined the entrepreneurship programme I had attended several workshops on gender and local governance and travelled to Maputo for a summit and with encouragement from the Mayor I submitted my candidate form and won an award. The Gender Links summits created space to share experiences with other women and get to know the challenges they have been going through and realised that all together we can fight gender based violence (GBV) and can help each other to overcome our problems.

Gender Links’ encouragement gave Gloria the strength to help others, as witnessed by Claudia whom GL visited and interviewed. Claudia said: “I would like to thank Mama Gloria for the support she has given me and my family today. I am who I am because of Mama Gloria.” Because of the opportunity given by Gloria, Claudia is able to sustain her family and send her children to school. Claudia was also able to build a house with conventional material. “We were seen by neighbours whatever we did, I can say that we were almost living in an open space the house was in such bad condition. With the income from this work I built my house, I bought a freezer, installed DSTV in my house, and built a toilet. All this I would not have been able to do if it was not because of Mama Gloria,” says MARTA with a smile on her face.

“I am now able to change clothes twice a day, I can also go to the hair saloon and do my hair and take care of my beauty. I used to admire other women when they were able to use a different “chitenge-capulana” during the week and though it was something special, not meant for me but now I realise that I can be like those women. Thank you Mama Gloria.

Gloria finalised her story saying, “when I say that am a case study in person, I talk about the car I bought as a result of the learning and the business skills that were taught by Gender Links. This car helps me to move around, with my family, to buy things for the shops.

My future plans are to continue doing business, help more women and open more shops and employ more people. I would like to open an events conference centre and promote weddings. This is my big dream.

Gloria says thank you to Gender links for all the good work and also thanks the council for the support provided and the invitation to join the council through AMUCHEFA, Association of women leaders of families.


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