Botswana: Baleseng Raphage

Botswana: Baleseng Raphage

Date: April 13, 2016
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What I liked about Gender Links is the lessons that we got about start a small to medium enterprise and how to use a computer. This was important as was ignorant about them. I took the initiative to visit places that fund businesses because I wanted to start a poultry farming business.

I started to be a part of GL in 2013 and have attended all the phases of the program. Of all the lessons the most relevant to me was the ones on business plan, banking and market research. My biggest challenge during the training was understanding the English language however the instructors noticed that and also conducted the lectures in our mother tongue Setswana and I understood. I have not started on my business but it is in the development stages and hope it will be up and running in no time. I am grateful to Gender Links for helping realise that I am capable of doing anything that I put energy and effort in to. The council has not been able to help me with any funding, however there is someone willing to invest into my poultry farm.

The abuse I was in was caused by husband and his sisters, they have since changed their ways, I have inner peace and I am very happy. All this I have to thank Gender Links which routed the right channels for reporting my husband. He admitted to the abuse and looked help after I reported him to our ward chief and we live happily now. I forgave my husband for all that he had done to me as our children were apologising on his behalf, our lives are better now, my mother portion a piece of her ploughing field which I lease out from her. I plough during the rainy seasons and am able to produce enough for my family and sell the excess to generate income to use on various things. All this has made me proud of whom I have become and I have gained dignity.

I have managed to educate those around me about abuse, I told them about the various places that they may go to get help such as the social worker, ward chiefs and certain churches. People view me as a different person and wish to talk to me each time they face difficulties in their lives.

I have learned that I am as capable as any man or woman out there despite my background, attending workshops too is very informative and has motivated me to start my business small, sample a few chickens before I invest in a larger scale farming so I have an idea of how everything will turn out to be. I will advertise my business to shops, to caterers and the community at large. I will try by all means that by 2030 I will have endless supply of poultry. With all that I will like to express my sincere gratitude to GL which has been a great influence in my life.