Chantel Nkele Bosii- Blouberg Municipality COE

Date: September 25, 2018
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A problem is a chance for you to do your best 

I was a Community Police Forum (CPF) member and doing the crime prevention campaigns at Matlala SAPS. I was accompanying some of our gender based violence survivors, I thought the workshop was not meant for me. An incident that happened a long time ago made me realise it was affecting me and how I relate to other people and how I behave.

After this training I have learned to be independent and to deal with the problems at home. This has really helped as I did not want to be helped or to seek help for my family problems. Since I have started with I stories I have learned how to write, talk about my problems and how to start my own business. I had an idea before but I did not have the knowledge to start the business. I have also learned how to calculate a mark-up for a business.  When I started to attending these workshops I was alone until I made friends with Phadu Koena where we have even started a small business that caters, sell biscuits and muffins. 

After meeting Gender Links, I started to be involved on different things. As I speak now I am one of the cooks, Leader of a youth League, Leader at the gym and I am also involved in a community police forum. I can now stand in front of a group of people, guide, encourage and also help them find solutions for their problems. When it comes to business side of things I have learned a lot especially how to maintain the business because before the training I could not have been able to start a business on my own. 

My family, especially my mother Maria Bosii, is one of those who encouraged me to persevere in order to stand on my own and not depend on others. Arthur Bosii , my brother earns a better salary however there was no financial assistance from him. Even during my school days, he never assisted me financially despite the fact that there was no income in the family. Both parents are unemployed; if my siblings and I do not embark on small business we will not have an income. I am trying on different things to assist my family and very grateful to Gender links for teaching us about starting small businesses, forgetting our problems and to work for ourselves.  

I have attended all the three phases of Gender links, from the courses that I have done, nothing was useless everything is important, nothing is useless in the training. My challenge is to calculate a mark-up of the business as I have never done such calculations before. I was a CPF member and doing the crime prevention campaigns at Matlala SAPS. I am now cooking with Phadu Koena and Selina Legodi, also a CPF Member and group leader at the gym. The training has helped me a lot because now I am able to stand in front of 1000 people to address or teach them about ways to prevent their problems. The council is assisting by advising me to go back to school and enrol for different courses. They are also encouraging me to apply for bursaries, telling me about the projects in the community like telling me to apply or show how to apply for learner ships. 

I have experiencing abuse from my family, my father and Grandmother It is better now on the maintenance side only. My mother and I are now fighting because of this situation. It does not yet reflect on my younger sisters. It is still difficult because my father does not want to help or even maintain my siblings, he bullies them and that is still a challenge. They respond better to violence. The only problem is that they are used to fighting but respond better to our sisters. My father only treats me and my mother bad. there is link between economic empowerment and reducing violence, it is just that my mother love her husband. The change in my life has influenced others by making them stronger or getting them to become independent. Maria Bosii, My Mother, was a victim she was not working but now she is working. 

The community we are staying in is now supportive towards us and we can now share our problems with them. My actions changed laws by giving my father respect and practises what we want our family to be or the way we want it to operate. My child respects my father and listens to everything he says. My mother is now working and I am starting my own business which will bring success in my family. 

I have learned to be independent, not to rely on my family and to not focus on the violence in my family but to stand up and fight for myself or anyone who are still victimised, by continuing to become better in my business and also to stand and fight for my family and anyone in the community who needs my help. I plan to continue with the business and also to assist people who are struggling or being abused in the rural area. 2030, I would like for the business that I have started with Gender Links to grow and to teach Survivors of ways to becoming independent. To be better than the person I am today and for my family to be out of the abuse and bad situations.  

I am happy about this whole thing because my business is growing now. My family will defeat all the challenges and we will end up happy.