Lesotho – Mookho Taleng

Date: September 5, 2018
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“Never in a million years did I think I would own a smart phone that I can do almost everything with it. Thanks to Gender Links I have a smart phone the size of my daughters hands joined together. It’s funny how I even smile and talk to this phone like it’s a person I mean breathing and all. “Said Mookho showing off her smart phone that was given by Gender Links (GL).” 

Mookho is a woman who lives in Thabana Morena in the district of Mafeteng. When she was first introduced to Gender Links she was so depressed she was on the verge of suicide. Mookho has four kids that she adores with all her heart, and they are the reason that she wakes up every day to work hard and also to see that their live changes. Her life has not been easy because had children at a very young age and she had to look after them by herself and that was not such an easy job, but she never gave up. 

It was during this difficult time of her life that Gender Links held a workshop for survivors of Gender based Violence. In this workshop different women shared their painful experiences, and she realized that she was not alone in that painful journey and her strength was brought back. The workshop was all about life skills and most importantly how can they make business in order for them not to depend on their abusers. She stated during those trainings GL staff was able showed them how to develop business plans and therefore she came up with an idea of how best can she improve her business as she was already selling traditional beer. With the transport money that was given to her during the trainings she decided to walk to home and use the money to improve her business. 

With the money from the traditional beer she was now able to take care of her two her children, however this money was not enough to take care of all her needs. Gender Links therefore advised all the small business holders about the importance of keeping books and recording all the transactions. After she put this into practice her business thrived, she was even able to open a savings account. She said that currently she has about M2000.00 saved at the bank since she had opened the bank account. 

She also mentioned that ever since she had encountered with Gender Links through the trainings now has a meaningful life and has a very good relationship with her children because now she is able to provide for them .She added not only her relationship with children has improved even with the neighbors because they are no longer gossiping about her for struggling to raise children alone and not being able to afford things.  

She mentioned that she is very happy that her business has grown, and now she is a position to hire one man from her village whose job is to get water from a well as it is a bit far and it gets difficult to get water and serve clients at the same time and one woman who is helping in preparing the beer and selling especial because sometimes it gets so busy. She mentioned that she is very happy because she has at least created two jobs for people in her community and it all thanks to GL with such knowledge instilled on her. 

In conclusion she said that with the money she has at the bank she plans to expand her business to sell more beers (not traditional) so as to cater for those people who don’t drink traditional beer because she was only buying in small quantity. She also wishes to build a shack for her business so that she can stop selling from her house as this exposes her children to drunken men. She hopes in future she will be able to hire at least three women to help her with her business. She says without a doubt that without Gender Links her life wouldn’t be the same.