Thato Mangole – Botswana

Thato Mangole – Botswana

Date: December 1, 2015
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“You will not change your life until you change what you do”

“In 2013 I consulted one of the social workers in our village and shared with her my life experiences. I revealed everything to her and she told me about the Gender Links (GL) programmes. I was living in an abusive relationship and everyone around me knew about it. My life was wretched and hopeless but when I heard about GL I did not hesitate and started attending their workshops,” Thato explains.

During these workshops she learnt a lot about gender based violence and as we speak she is aware and assertive about issues of gender and human rights. It was unbelievable, but with grace she won the battle and even now quite a number of women ask her how she managed to survive that abusive relationship. She is always delighted to testify how GL helped her out of that miserable life. She is now a self-assured woman with dignity, all because of GL and she constantly provides guidance to these women on issues around fighting GBV at both a personal and community level. Currently the women consider her as their role model and some of them now live positive lives, free from GBV.

“I am so grateful to GL because they offer essential services to the community. Hence I urge everyone to utilise these services as they are fruitful, especially amongst women. Even though writing our stories reminded us of all the pain and trauma we went through, we are so grateful to have been given a chance to share our life experiences through the “repeat I story” initiative because it has helped us discover ourselves. It was not an easy process but we have healed and moved on with our lives”, according to Thato.

Furthermore, she was one the people who were invited to attend the “I story” book launch ceremony in Gaborone and it was such a delightful experience. She had a chance to interact with Ministers and Members of Parliament at the occasion and she extends her gratitude to GL for the hospitality and the opportunity granted.

“I was also invited to the entrepreneurship workshop in Gaborone where we learnt quite a lot about writing business plans. During the first days I was clueless on the topics presented but I ended up catching up on the topics. Moreover I was also one of the nominees who participated in the Botswana national summit awards held at Tlotlo Conference Centre and it was such a great experience as I slept in a hotel for the first time in my life!” Thato exclaims.

After this entire journey with GL, she has done a commendable job with her business and she is now an aspiring business woman with a registered company. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has helped her with funds to start up her butchery. It was not an easy process but she has achieved her goal. “On the other hand, our lives have changed ever since we met GL hence we no longer live in abusive relationships. I thank GL staff for the support they have given us ever since we met them. I will forever cherish the knowledge they have imparted to us and they will always be close to my heart. I also extended my warm gratitude to my family for all the support they have given me. They have never turned their backs on me during my struggle, especially my siblings. I wish I could celebrate my success and show the world how GL has helped,” says Thato.


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