Namibia: Johanna Shifute

Namibia: Johanna Shifute

Date: April 22, 2016
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I am Johanna Shifute I am a 35 year old and I live in oshakati. My father oshiwambo and my mother damara were separated, so I attended school in outjo at Noord-weide RC school. I attended different high schools but managed to complete my grade 12 at Cornillius Goreseb high school.

Having gone through many problems in life I joint the women support group through Gender Links, I managed to embrace the opportunities that came my way. Living in poverty has taught me a lot, it has taught me how to work hard and never depend on any one. I want to be productive to my country in being a providing opportunities to our people. I attended the Gender Links entrepreneurship  workshops in my town Outjo.

I was a ECD teacher at various centers and gained experience and want strengthen the experiences gained so I start my own center, this was dream come true. After the entrepreneurship training I opened a ECD center in my location because a did a market research in my area where I lived,  to see weather the ECD center I wanted to open was really needed  and with my research I realized that there was a need in my community for a ECD. I used one of my partners room since my house was too small who agreed to help me no matter what it takes. We started putting up the structure and we bought teaching materials, teaching aids and many other things we needed for the center. We made tables that 30 children can use and had everything that we needed to start with. It took us 3 months before we could start with the center because I used that time to enroll and register the children. Some were over aged to be registered at the center but we provided help were we could since we understood some of the situation they were in, we thought if we don’t help this kids they will end up on the street and that’s what we didn’t want happening.

After I stopped teaching I started selling wood and ice-blocks to keep busy and have money generating since life is not easy I had to face many challenges, at first it was seasonal because ice can easily be sold in summer when it’s hot and yet again competition was very tough as everyone had that same business running. At times business would not go well and I would have use a lot of water and electricity leaving me to pay more for the house bills causing to break the budget, another problem I have encounter is that people of the same business will increase the size of the products  which lead more customers to them. But I will keep on pursuing my goal and be a strong women that I know I can be.