Namibia: *Elma

Namibia: *Elma

Date: April 22, 2016
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My name is Elma born in Windhoek, now residing in Koes. I joined Gender Links Entrepreneurship programme in the year 2014 and had been taken through a great journey of transformation. After attending the phase 1 training from Gender Links, I started a small business. I am selling basics needs from home and I have learned how to be confident.I used to be scared of my boyfriend and after the lesson learnt at the workshop I had had courage to stand up from my boyfriend. At first I used to be scared of him and i would do everything he said I should even if I did not want to just because he was abusive towards me. The beating and the controlling has stopped, I know my rights.

Due to certain circumstances I could not attend two workshops that followed after Phase one, but with the little information I had gained I was able to start a business and sustain it and for that I am forever blessed and happy that I came. My challenge was that I used to be a very depressed person, not liking public spaces or associating myself with other people. I now am a person who likes to help others and outgoing. There is no violence in my relationship only respect as we now talk things through. My boyfriend has stopped drinking and meets his friends at home spending more time with the family.

There is a link between power and violence, if one is economically independent it reduces gender violence. I help other women by giving them financial and moral support with the experience I gained and learned from the Gender Links entrepreneurship workshop.

I am a changed women who can now also help and advice others, I fully participate in demonstrations and meetings aimed at empowering women. I however feel the council can do more for the women. Sharing of experiences and ideas is the best way that one can make others change the way they live. Gender Links has taught me as a women you can become financially independent by standing up for yourself and earnings worked for are yours. Also that there are other women going through the same or worse situation.

My future plans are to start a woman’s shelter within the region where such women can be kept safe and guarded from this terrifying experiences. I want to be an independent self-efficient women by 2030 with multiple businesses. I want to thank Gender Links for making me the women that I am today, you helped me help myself.