Judith Kelebang – Botswana

Judith Kelebang – Botswana


Date: November 29, 2015
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Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.

I was very excited and scared to be told that I would be representing my area at the Botswana national summit at Gaborone. I really learnt a lot from the other contestants about issues surrounding abuse and business. I was able to speak in front of a lot of people about my business. I was very impressed with myself for doing this as I never thought I would be able to speak confidently in front of so many people. Even though I did not win, I gained a lot of knowledge from this experience.

Since I am able to make speeches I get invited to different workshops to encourage others. I was invited to a Woman against Rape workshop to talk about abuse and encourage other women to believe that it is not the end of the world. I also assist other women from my community to develop business plans the way I was assisted by Gender Links. Since I rent out flowers and trees for decor I always make a small donation to churches events and other workshops by lending trees for decor.

Currently I am engaged in selling different types of trees and flowers. I also hire out trees and flowers for decor. My business is prospering and making money, even though it is not a lot it is sufficient for my survival. Despite the fact that I did not get funding I managed to start this business with the little money I had. It is doing well, even though I do not make enough profit but at least there is an income. The challenge is that there is a water shortage in Maun and that is a set back because trees and flowers need water to survive.

I first encountered Gender Links though a social worker and meeting them changed my life. I have been empowered through the knowledge on abuse and the business skills that I gained and I am no longer living in an abusive relationship. My family is very happy with how my life has changed; they assist with me with watering my plants and putting manure in the soil. People from my community are now interested in starting their own business they have applied to government programmes to assist with funding and they come to me for advice on how to do a business plan.

When I started this business I was unable to make money, but as I proceeded with the entrepreneurship training I was able to see where I had gone wrong. I did not keep financial records, I did not bank money, and I was taking money from the business and using it on personal stuff. Now I keep records and do not struggle to buy seed and manure or fertilizers.

My intention is to get some land or ask for funding to buy a piece of land so that I can move my trees to an open place where there is enough space. Again if I have a place of business people will take me seriously and be interested in buying these trees, especially tourists, since Maun is tourist attraction. With a venue my business will grow and eventually I will be able to hire more people. I am very happy that I was fortunate enough to be selected for this programme and I am very grateful to Gender Links for improving my life.

 


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