Rebabonye Amos – Botswana

Rebabonye Amos – Botswana

Date: June 20, 2016
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Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated

I was very blessed to have encountered Gender Links, I had the opportunity to represent Bobonong at the national summit. That was the best moment of my life as it was the first time I had taken part in that competition. Even though I did not win, I received a certificate for taking part. It was also the first time that I slept in a hotel and got a chance to meet a Minister of labour and home affairs, Rre Bantshu. But most of all, I loved the way I was treated by Gender Links staff who gave me the opportunity to talk about my business in front of people.

I have helped a friend from my home village, Bobonong, and shared with her the knowledge I received from Gender Links to teach her how to make polish, which is the project on which I am currently working. Her wish is that when she is financially stable she could join my project and work with me. She makes an effort by contributing towards paraffin and candles for me to teach her and then we divide the polish and sell it. I have given speeches at different workshops and at poverty eradication, school and ward meetings. This was done to motivate and educate people about gender based violence and encourage women to be entrepreneurs. When I move around the shops I tell people about my polish to try and advertise it. This helps as people end up placing orders to buy the polish. People are really shocked and amazed that I talk freely about my life in front of people, and it really shows how I have accepted my life and have now moved on.

I met Gender Links though a social worker at the hospital. When I was at the hospital there was an announcement by the social workers that women were invited to a workshop. Mme Anita Shaka told us that women who have experienced abuse were invited to a workshop to be trained by Gender Links. During the “I” story workshop we were told to write down our stories and I found it was very healing for us to write down the experiences that we had suffered.

The most memorable experience was when I was told that I would represent Bobirwa district at the national summit, joining other women from different districts. My life has really changed since I started my own business which supports me financially. People at home recognise the change in my life and are very happy with it. I am happy at all times as now I do not live with the threat of abuse. People at home also now recognise and understand the importance of the training I have been undertaking.

My special thanks to Gomolemo Rasesigo who was very patient when helping me draw up my business plan. She also encouraged me to advertise my business and move on with my life and know myself better. I have really learnt a lot during the training; I can now do a budget, keep records and save money. Since I am only starting and am still advertising my business, I believe it will grow as time goes on. I have requested Miss Anita Shaka to advertise my business at the council.

My life has really changed as I am now independent, I do not ask money from people as I can now make my own. People now borrow money from me and I help them because I understand what they are going through. I also encourage them to open their own businesses using the little that they have, as it will repay them. People now respect me as I meet and give advice to different people wanting to know how I succeeded. They also want to see the polish and recycled paper baskets that I sell. I sometimes talk to other women to encourage them to rid their lives of abuse as it can put their lives in danger and I also tell them to talk about their issues as this can be healing. Joining different societies like Red Cross, Emang Basadi and Basadi Botho can be very helpful as we meet different people or women with different challenges in their lives and it helps when we share and encourage one another.

I share the knowledge that I got from all the training I attended with other people to bring change into their lives. Gender Links has called me to attend workshops after the training as a way of encouraging and motivating me to start a business.

I have met different challenges, including the issue of time, as I thought we had a short time to learn and understand. I encouraged myself to do it at home alone to try and see if I have understood it. My future plans are to work hard until my business succeeds and grows. I will work on registering my company and rent a space from where I can operate my business and hire more people. I will also have to open a bank account so I can deposit my business earnings.

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