Marie Joseph Sarah

Marie Joseph Sarah

Date: March 31, 2016
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I followed the training with Gender Links in October 2014 for a period of one week. Regrettably I could not attend all the sessions because of health problems. I was really happy about the training we received. I particularly learned how to become autonomous in life. I was a very reserved person in the sense that I did not like to speak too much to people or get involved with them in general. Now I am a transformed women; I can even say that I have guts! Gender Links gave me the strength I needed to face my problems and take the decision to change for a more independent approach to life.

I cultivate staple crops such as bananas and cassavas. I started with a small plantation of bananas and later decided to add cassava crops within the space left in between each two banana trees. My husband and I are both involved in this entrepreneurship on an everyday basis. We expose them on the sides of roads for sale. Such professional collaboration with my husband improved our personal relationship and the overall human rapports in my house.

My husband has considerably improved his behaviour towards me. I was morally tortured and sexually abused for years. He was not otherwise physically violent but spousal rape was frequent in our couple. I felt humiliated all the time he entertained an illicit relationship with another woman. Since the latter died, he is a better individual. He respects me, shows love and acknowledged that I have the potential to well manage an entrepreneurship business. He actually thinks that he needs me to help him cultivate such crops. I would like to place on records that he now helps me with the house chores. He often does the dishes, cleans the house, washes the clothes and even cooks for the whole family. I now live a much peaceful life.

I believe that one of the main reasons for this change is the fact that I am the financial pillar of the household. My children are very happy about this fact because I am predisposed to ease their financial situation. I also take care of my new-born grandchild. My overall contribution to the day to day running of the household is important now; so am I. The positive change at home had an impact on my social life. I have often been blamed for the way my husband treated me.  I now feel that people seem to talk to me in a more relaxed manner. I succeeded both in my professional and personal endeavours. Gender Links gave me the ability to fight against my unfavourable circumstances. I strongly wish that women who face similar circumstances are given the opportunity to attend such sessions. And it feels good to be awarded a certificate. I can state with conviction that I am ready to face any kind of challenges because I believe in myself and is conscious of my self-worth. I also feel that financial success is not only my wish but an obligation towards my family.

Later I would like to have a small shop where I could sell homemade cakes. I have the firm intention to make this dream real. I learned how to deal with stress and anxiety and how to make the most of life. I have a lot of friends thanks to Gender Links. I am proud of what I am today even if life challenges are not over and some of my goals have not yet been achieved.