Date: April 4, 2016
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My name is Nirina, I am a hairdresser. My life story is a bit sad but I have followed a training which has completely changed my life.

The training started on September 8, 2013 and I followed the different steps of it because I believed they would bring me some advantages.

For example, I never knew that I could carry out a project once I was determined to do it and manage the income, the outcome and the profit it would bring. But now that I’ve been trained in running a business, I know that from then on I would make a good manager since I am really interested in it.

I faced some problems when running my own business but I stuck to it and sought solutions.

Before I followed the training, for example, I was satisfied with just being a hairdresser. But after the training, I am now determined to extend my activity by selling bright-colored hair accessories and hair products also. I have also increased women and girls’ awareness of caring about their body, hair, beauty and skin.

It shows that my business has flourished and it enables me to develop in my everyday life; this is the advantage I mentioned before. I succeeded because I learned and have put into practice what the trainers taught me.

However, I was not satisfied with my success yet, I still thought about developing more my business and that’s where the idea of collaborating with the Council came about, and contacting the person in charge. At that time, we were members of an association in search for help as we were looking for funding to extend our business.

Unfortunately that person in charge of helping new project in the Council betrayed us and fled with our profit. As a consequence, we sold at a loss.

We weren’t discouraged however, because we weren’t trained to give up in case of failure but to look for a new perspective to fight against that kind of violence, for dishonesty and betrayal can be considered as violence.

Now, I’ve searched for a way to fight against violence because I love my job and I want it to flourish more and more so I, by myself, try to avoid problems that might bring about once again violence.

I can eventually say that there is no problem apart from thinking about the smooth running of this business and my income; it means that I am no longer subjected to violence.

I get on very well with others, my children and my parents. The only slight problem is that few people were not happy with my life being better as they are jealous of my business growing faster but that wouldn’t discourage me, instead it’s rather a motivation to move ahead and improve my performances.

Therefore, my efforts are meant for my children’s happiness. So, it is good to be independent in order to live in peace and not to depend on others.

In addition, the training I followed has good impacts as I can become a model for the people around me.

For example there was a woman who has children but got divorced just like me, I can’t give her anything but I could tell her that she should never be discouraged, she should make up her mind and overcome being the “fragile vessel”, according to Malagasy old sayings, and that she should find something to do.

Now this friend of mine goes around the village to sell fish and she pulls through it! I’m proud of her, and that’s already my contribution in helping her.

People now realize that we are good examples to imitate if someone is subjected to violence, she or he should react in order not to be prone to the society’s judgment. My message for you who are subjected to violence now is not to accept your situation but to stand up and dare to approach people in order to improve your life conditions or join an association as it may bring you something good.

As for my wish, I would like to have professional tools and my own hairdressing salon in 2016, and to be a professional hairstylist.

And in the following years I would have reached all my goals, it means in 15 years I will be speechless and amazed to look back and see the great changes brought to my life!

In short, I’d like to thank you who have spent your precious time reading my story which might have made you happy by knowing about my efforts in my life, thanks also go to you, the facilitator who trained me if by chance you are reading this.

Last but not least, my warmest thanks go to Gender Links because they are the sources of the guidelines and strategies I have used to improve my life.