Maria Mboene

Maria Mboene

Date: March 22, 2016
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My name is Maria Mboene, I was introduced to Gender Links entrepreneurship programme through the councillor of Bilene council. I have been with Gender Links since the first meeting were i told my story, i did participate in all the phases of the programme.

i used to suffer verbal violence from my husband and for the fact that I grew up knowing that once a woman is married she has to respect and stay with the husband no matter what happens in the house and did know about my rights, i couldn’t do anything but to stay at home suffering in silence.

In 1983 my husband left me with 6 children to take care. From that moment i had to choose between getting another man to sustain me and my kids and finding a way to survive by myself. Because i did not want to go thru all the things I did with my former husband, I decided to start a business.

In 1987 i started selling fish in my area (Bilene), and even went to other places like Chibuto and Chinavane to sell the product.

In 2002 i heard that the council was selling space in the market, so I went there and got a space for 1050 Mzn.

I started building a place in the market so could start selling her fish there. Besides fish, Maria did add drinks and started cooking food to sell at the shop. And I do the same business till today.

In 2014 i was called to join a group of woman for a training with Gender Links about what she considers a whole new way of living. Gender links taught me a lot about human rights, gender and opened her mind to new perspectives.

One of the challenges I had during the trainings was understanding the forms given at works and the writing.

Because i did not go to school it was difficult for to comprehend the information that was being transmitted and needed, with the help of the facilitators and the other participants I managed to overcome those challenges.

For the future I plan to grow my business even more, so that i can employ more people. I have a piece of land that i want to build houses to rent. Develop my house and continue to share the knowledge I gained with GL, with more people.

I am very grateful to GL for everything they taught me and i wishes that the programme does not end, that GL continues to reach other people who suffer with the different types of gender based violence.