Gaotsoge Njonjo

Gaotsoge Njonjo

Date: April 5, 2016
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My name is Gaotsoge Njonjo and I am 48 years and a resident of Kasane. I was very happy to have been selected as part of the women to attend the workshops by Gender Links. I was impressed when we were taught about the types of businesses we could embark on. I particularly loved the sewing business. As we speak I am now a tailor, I went to the Social Welfare office and applied to be assisted with Poverty eradication project. I was assisted with the equipment I needed to start my sewing business and was lucky to be taken for a tailoring course.

I attended two of the courses and was not able to attend the other one as my mother was very sick and I was the one caring for her without assistance from any other person. The lessons really helped as I was able to stand for myself and ask for help from the Social Workers something I was notable to do before. Besides making clothe for people I also sell fabrics. I am able to care for my children. All the lessons have been very important to me and because of them I did not give up when I met challenges. Some of the challenges I met was lack of funding to buy more materials needed to keep the business going as council only provided limited materials.

I had used some of the profit to purchase materials and make my children school uniforms and this made it difficult for me to find money to buy more materials. I then opted to purchase fabrics from Zambia as they were cheaper and it helped sustain the business. Before I met GL I was not economically active I just stayed at home and at times I took part in the Drought relief program which made life hard as the work was temporary. Now that I have my own business life is much better thanks to Gender Links and Chobe Council.

My partner was working but me and the children never got any assistance from him. He did not buy food at home or buy children clothes. We did not know what he used his salary for. Currently I take care of the children’s needs he is still not supportive. There is a noticeable change in my life and that of my children as I take care of them and protect them. I am very independent thanks to Gender Links. I notice that even the physical violence is not there anymore because I do not ask for money from him I take care of myself. I and the children have a happier life.

People in my community are very impressed by the transformation they see in me. They all want to know how I managed and I tell them it’s all thanks to Gender Links. Most of them now want to be part of the trainings that I went through as they feel my life has changed for the better and we are no longer poor. One of the most important thing I learnt from GL is that I have potential and can use my own skills to make a living.

I intend on expanding my business and start a goat rearing business. In 2030 I wish to have a goat farm and having a big farm to keep the goats. I want to be rich and be recognised as a true business woman. If my business progress as planned in the next few months I want to make a donation to the orphans so I can also help in attaining one of the Botswana pillar for Vision 2016 of being a caring and compassionate nation.