Mauritius: *Ellen Ricco

Mauritius: *Ellen Ricco


Date: May 16, 2016
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The entrepreneurship training I followed from Gender Links was very inspiring. My life has changed a lot after the training. I attended all the three phases held in October 2014. I have learnt lots of things. At this age I was unaware of all these. I came to know the very first step should be taken by me and no one else. No one would do it for me. People, who taught me this not only motivated me but also empowered me. I realised that I do have the potential to do something in life.

I’m fifty-four years. I’m separated from my husband and have four sons and a daughter. I was working in hotels and villa which did not leave me much free time to open up a business. I was planning to set up a business of selling ‘dhol puri’.  Moreover, in my neighborhood, there was a lady who was selling ‘dhol puri’ and snacks like ‘samoosa’ and ‘gato piment’. She had many clients however the only difficulty she was encountering was that people would not pay and take everything on credit. She had some health problems and therefore she had to stop. This made me have second thoughts. I was uncertain about this; it could happen to me also. But many of my friends encouraged me to do so and told me to put my business into practice. I feel I’m prepared to start up my business now. In addition I believe I can do some little jar of pickles.

I have been working in hotels for seventeen years. In 2014 to 2015 I was working in villas too. But recently the hotel management fired me because I’m too old for this job now. I was not depressed by this change. However, it is irritating to stay at home. I’m not used to it. When I was working, I had to leave early morning and returned home late night. But even if it was hard for me, I knew I was independent. I did not have to ask anyone for anything. I was able to live and manage with what I had. Now since I do not have a job when I need something, I have to ask my sons. I feel awkward. They are my kids and I should not be ashamed to ask for something, but I’m uncomfortable with it.

The reason I have not set up my business yet is not because I have financial problem, but because I did not have time. Earlier I did face violence, especially the times when paychecks were near. It would become unbearable at that time. I could not stay in the house. He would put fire in all my clothes, even sleep with a blade under his pillow. I had no choice but to leave him. It has been seventeen years now.

My children have encouraged me, and even my grand children. They said they would help me after school hours. This motivates me knowing that they are all here for me and that I’m not alone. In a few years, I can see myself as a successful person and that is my dream.