Botswana: Peo Manda

Botswana: Peo Manda

Date: April 13, 2016
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Some days were easier than others with my siblings, we did not get along completely because they do not accept me with all the situations I have been through, they were not sympathetic at all. My first born’s father passed away when I was 3 months pregnant and later my second child’s father left me to fend for myself and raise the kids on my own. I one day heard about Gender Links and I immediately decides I need to affiliate myself with the organisation. Ever since I have attended their workshops my life has been way better and my self-awareness has improved, I am a vendor and also work at Ipelegeng which enables me to support myself and my children.

I attended the workshop at the 2nd stage, when the 1st was conducted my child’s father had just passed away and the pain was unbearable, I did not want any interaction with anyone. A kind Samaritan in the community after hearing what I was going through invited me to Gender Links and because I was now ready to accept help from other people. I got counselling which has helped me deal with a lot of emotions.

With the training I got from Gender Links I was able to put it to practise with the tuck-shop that I have opened, it is now developing steadily. Although my tuck-shop is improving I will like to venture into landscaping, so I decorate schools, guest houses etc.

I had the privilege to meet the councillor in my area who advised to register for the youth grants provided by the government while I still qualify as youth. I have since been applying with no success. This is very discouraging and I sometimes feel there is no life after losing my partner as the pain forever lives in me. I was able to register my company where I was guided on what and what not to sell in my tuck-shop. I met up with the councillor who was proud of my progress.

I am unfortunate that I still experience abuse from my family which hurts me deeply but because I have Gender Links on my side I ignore all that is said about me and focus on being a better person and mother to my kids. I am grateful for my grandmother who is the only one willing to babysit for me when I go on workshops such as this one.