Sense Mokoti – Botswana

Sense Mokoti – Botswana

Date: November 17, 2015
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“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”

I was very broke; there was nothing in the house in terms of food. Then out of nowhere a friend appeared and invited me to a workshop and I had no idea what an impact it would have on my life. I respected this woman so I decided to attend the workshop. At the workshop we were asked to write our “I” stories on gender based violence. It was really healing to pour out my experiences on to a piece of paper. I could not believe it when after so many years I was taken to KFC for lunch. We were also given P400.00 each for attending workshop. I used this money to buy groceries for the children at Spar.

I went through hard times and came out victorious. I chose as my project a cultural home and put together a Khoisan hut that was rated the best in the region and nationally. I have helped a friend who had low self-esteem and now she running a poultry business. I have also formed a group that will help each other to generate funds for their families and stop being dependent on other people (stokvel).

My business is a cultural home where I will build Setswana structures, provide food and other cultural activities. The first time I met Gender Links I was very emotional and I thought I was the only unhappy woman, only to find that there were many who were more depressed than I. I was relieved. My happiest moment was when I was rated the best emerging entrepreneur at the national and regional summit.

I count every day anxiously as I want to see my project up and running and earning some income. Kgosi (the chief) in my village and the Magana-ka-kgomo group will launch my project. My family is very happy because I have moved on with my new life. Gender Links taught me how to operate a business and improve my self-esteem. Gomolemo and Mma Ntsabane are the best people, as they worked so hard training me to move from nothing to a prosperous life. I started my cultural home after the training, I was doing beadwork before. My children, the gender focal person for the Chobe district council, Ms Mojaphoko, and Kgosi are very supportive and also encourage me to keep working hard. They often visit me at my cultural home to see the progress.

My son and my daughter and my cousins are happy with my progress in life and I have trained my daughter. She is now doing business plans for people as a business after she copied the format of the business plan that I developed. My kids now call me “Mma SADC” as a nickname.

The women at home love what I do and even pledged to help me with constructing the other traditional huts. They also want to run similar businesses. I feel proud of myself for having had such an impact on so many lives. I am the talk of my village as when I walk in the street people will point at me saying they saw me on TV. Now people I know are also interested in joining Gender Links workshops as they want to learn what I have learnt. This makes me work even harder.

The studies were very difficult but due to the good teachers we had we won the battle and achieved a great deal. In future I would like to have a group that will prosper in different businesses, especially for those who abuse alcohol to deal with their violence. I am very grateful to have received the knowledge and I will share it with others so that they can be where I am today. Gender Links should give all the women they train letters detailing what they have learnt, so that they can use this as a supporting document to request funds to support their businesses.


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