Mauritius: Swarma Brigitte

Mauritius: Swarma Brigitte

Date: May 13, 2016
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The training at Gender Links was very motivating. It has helped me to stand where I am today. The most memorable experience as part of the training is that I learned how to appreciate myself. I met women who were also facing violence from their partner but achieved success in their business. They inspire me. They supported me to open my own path to success. I joined the training in 2013 and I attended all three phases. The training has encouraged me to create my own business. I now own a chicken farm. I also have a garden and during my free time I plant some vegetables and sell them.

Prior to the training at Gender Links, I worked as a maid. The salary I received was very low. It was very difficult to even meet the basic needs of my family. Today, I earn enough money to live a happy life. Before engaging myself in chicken farming, I wanted to open a shop. But I was disheartened because after several applications to the bank I did not received any loan. The council did not even assist me to open my business. And then, the training at Gender links taught me how to use the little resources and space available to start a business.

My husband is a drug addict. He used to take drugs since the time we got married. He was extremely violent. He does not stay at home; he comes home for only two days in a week. And I do not know where he stays the other days. This was his routine. The days he returns home, he beat me. Sometimes he stopped with his violent behavior and then the other day he becomes the same beast. I was helpless and afraid. After the training at Gender Links, I learnt about my rights and I defended myself against the violent behavior of my husband. We are now separated. I have 3 children. All of them are married and I live alone in my house.  I have another partner. We do not live under the same roof but we are very happy with each other.

Gender Links has constantly supported me. The training has helped me to build my confidence. My life has now changed. I am independent and I am proud of myself. The training also gave me new ideas and new skills, as before that I did not know how to breed chicken and do planting. My life has improved to great extent and I am financially much better than before. My dream is to expand my chicken farm and to buy and sell chicken on a larger scale. I also dream to open a general retail shop. I have the strength and courage. I will surely open my own shop.