Date: March 31, 2016
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The entrepreneurship training I received from Gender Links was very enriching. I started believing in myself. During the course I made friends and I have known many people. The training has empowered me a lot. It helped me to understand how to make a business and a business plan. The ways they spoke to us, taught us and explained to us have really encouraged me and self empowered me. I realised that these people do a lot for women. They fight and work for the betterment of women.

I attended all the three phases at Gender Links in October 2014, I could not miss any. What I liked the most during the training was the moment when everyone revealed their secrets. Things that were buried deep in their heart were taken out on that day, shared with people they did not even know and I was one among them. That moment has been engraved in my heart. Everyone shared the problems they were enduring.

Before the training, I was following courses of handicrafts. I can make little dress for dolls by knitting. I can also do painting on household items like pots, glasses and plates. When I get clients for these, I sell them. Sometimes I receive orders to do ‘jupe sega’. I always wanted an industrial sewing machine and recently I was able to buy one. I used to work before, but I had to quit because I have health problems. However, my boss still believes in me. When there was heavy work load, I used to go to the factory to help.

This year he gave me more responsibilities. I was assigned to make garments like shorts at the factory. The job is not difficult at all. In addition, I’m allowed to go to work at any time I want. I seldom do overtime. I’m happy with my job at present as I’m able to earn some money.

Moreover, my husband supports me a lot. He does realise that I’m doing all this for my family. He was an electrician. He lost his job since his company was shut down. He is of great help and sometimes he even prepares dinner when I come late home. He encourages me and is always by my side.

I did not face any violence from my husband. But I did experience sexual harassment from a relative of mine. I never told anyone about this, not even my parents. I could not. My husband is still unaware of this. I have always kept it as a secret. I always felt guilty because I thought maybe I attempted him to do this shameful act. I was only a kid. I walked on the street with my head bowed down. I was leading a life of embarrassment. When I came to Gender Links, I do not know how but I was able to share this here.

It is not easy to see the person who did such a disgraceful act to me, pretending to be a good person in front of everyone. Also I have to act as if nothing happened. It is very hard for me because I know what I have been through all these years.

Gender Links has helped me to learn how to trust and respect myself and believe in me. They made realise my competence. I do not care what people think about me and when they look at me differently. I can do nothing to change the mindset of people. Now I live for my family.

My dream is to be successful in my business and I’m sure one day I will be. Moreover, I always wanted to own a car. I intend to buy one in the near future. It will be easier for the delivery of goods.