Botswana: Gasegaope Lesolame

Botswana: Gasegaope Lesolame

Date: April 11, 2016
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When I joined Gender Links I learned a lot about gender issues, I learned that a woman does not need necessarily need a man to be successful contrary to what our society believes. I learned businesses are not for men only and women need to start challenging men in areas of business that are male dominated. I am now a street vendor and have volunteered at Cluster Policing, there is income in the household that I learned needs to be recorded and monitored.

I joined this programme in 2013 and attended all the3 workshops that were conducted in my area. All the lessons were very helpful but mostly the ones on computer skills and book keeping. The main challenge at the workshop was not being able to understand English language properly however the lectures were able to explain in my mother tongue and I understood. I was unemployed at the time I met GL but with their motivation I now volunteer at Cluster Policing and I sell sweets around. I have not had any financial assistance from anyone, the start-up capital was the little money I get from volunteering.

I have and still am experiencing abuse from my husband, he still continues with the abuse however I have received counselling from Gender Links and have acquired skills on how to be independent that which I am still working on.  there is  a significant change in my in-laws who after realising the abuse I am in suggested I get counselling from the social worker. My in-laws and I live in serenity and are proud that I make my own money although it is not much the little profit I make out of selling sweets is something.

I encourage those living in abuse to seek out counselling for them to regain dignity, people in my community question how I am able to be in an abusive relationship but still be happy and I give the credit to GL who gave me counselling that has helped me. In the meantime while I sell sweets I am trying to get all the necessary documents to open a bakery.

I learned that I do not need a man to be a successful business woman, the lessons I got from Gender Links I will apply to the daily running of mu business such as advertising my business and also being able to supply to the different structures of the government. I envision my bakery to be very successful one day and having hired staff so they are eradicated from poverty. With all the lessons I got I know it will be very unwise to use money intended for stock.