RAZAFINDRANORO Sylvanna Marie Anita

RAZAFINDRANORO Sylvanna Marie Anita

Date: April 4, 2016
  • SHARE:

My name is RAZAFINDRANORO Sylvanna Marie Anita, I am 26 years old, I am a mother and I have a fiancé.

I was already quite grown up when my mother took care of me and we suffered from violence perpetrated by my mother’s husband, my stepfather. There were blows and threats, and he attempted to rape me. I tried to continue my studies but I had to drop out of school later on because I could not handle my studies, earning a living and my fiancé whom I thought would make my life easier but who ended up burdening me as my life was a series of problems.  My husband didn’t allow me to work, so I always depended on him and became his property. I had to do what he wanted me to and could not take my own decisions. He said that was because I was still a child; furthermore, he was still studying abroad at that time. I accepted the situation because he was my first boyfriend whom I wanted to marry. Besides, his family didn’t approve of our relationship and when I decided to have a child with that husband, they were afraid that the baby wasn’t his. When I was angry that I was asked to do a paternity test, I said I wanted to leave him and he requested that I pay him back the money he had sent me and said he would kill me if I didn’t. It was very hard for me and I considered being single but I stayed with him for the sake of my child. I was invited to participate in the Gender Links training because a friend of mine, who was well aware of my situation, worked at CECJ (Centre d’Ecoute et Conseil Juridique/listening and legal counseling center). I was enthusiastic about the training, and it relieved me of my burden because we could talk openly and I realized I was not facing violence alone.

I decided to start my own business and asked my husband for money but he refused because he thought that that would just be a waste of money. It was very hard for me but I asked him again if I could work and he finally accepted. So I began by selling cooked food on the beach during school holidays. The training went on and we learnt to keep a written record of incomes and expenses and I found that very helpful. Even if there were a few problems with my former business, I could improve it but the real problem was that I had to find a person to help me but that person was not trustworthy so I had to sell my belongings. After the third phase, the training was complete. So I decided to sell high-quality fashionable clothes and I borrowed money from a friend.

I began my commercial activity and shortly afterwards, I could return my husband’s money, which astonished him and made him keep a close eye on my work and let me be financially independent. And I still sell food on the beach.

Soon afterwards, I expanded my business again and opened a cake shop, which is the entrepreneurial project I’ve always dreamt of. So far, I haven’t saved any money yet because I still focus on buying goods as I would like to have a large shop before considering saving. In spite of that, my life has already changed because I can afford to buy the small things I need. Most importantly, I can help with the small things that are needed at home. It’s only now that I can live well and even my husband begins to value my ideas. I have become confident and I am not fearful anymore. Before, when doing something, I was afraid of criticisms, but now, things happen naturally. Money really makes a difference. At the end of the day, everybody can achieve great things but everything hinges on audacity. Now I can really compete with my husband and when he makes a decision, he asks my opinion and actually takes my advice, unlike before.

Therefore, there is a correlation between a household’s income and violence because when there is money, there are no reasons to get angry so the family life is harmonious as everybody can fulfill their responsibilities. And that applies both to men and women.

For example, when I didn’t work, I didn’t have many friends because people didn’t need anything from me. Today, I’m in contact with many people and they all want to be my friends.

This job has had many positive impacts on my life and people begin to esteem me as there are many of them who come to me to find a job, tell their problems or borrow something… Especially my sister-in-law. She borrows money and when I refuse, she says I’m tight-fisted and mean but people have also refused to lend me some money before.

Because I have changed my dressing or clothing style, there are many people who are jealous and who say bad things about me, for example that I am arrogant and overestimate myself… Even my husband has stopped paying attention to what his sister says. Plus, I show him that even if he wasn’t there, I would be able to earn my own living.

My participation in the training has brought about many benefits in my life, my mindset has changed even in the realm of my household because when he requested clarification on money matters before, I was angry as I interpreted that as a lack of trust and he already slapped me for that, but now, I can explain things clearly to him because I record everything in writing and I feel happy because someone cares about what I am doing. Especially, when someone asks about my husband, I don’t dare to answer him lest he should hear about it. Now however, I dare to say that I use my own money and I can proudly assert that I have special knowledge about entrepreneurial project creation. That training teaches about behaviour, self-confidence and improvement which begins with oneself. It should, by all means, be introduced to the broad public, for example via radio or television, and especially through word of mouth so that many people can participate in the training. Due to the training, I always have new ideas about how I can expand my business.

As regards my future life, I hope that my family life will be harmonious, that I’ll have a car to carry the goods as well as a large and beautiful house, but I wish to achieve that through the growth of my business.

I thank Gender Links because without you, I don’t know what my life would have been now; you gave me back the confidence I had had when I was still in school; it’s you who made me what I am now despite my efforts. I also take this opportunity to encourage all women to follow my example because the will to improve oneself and people’s help are interdepedent so everybody should make some efforts. Women, stand up because the country’s growth begins in the household, shoulder your responsibilities because your descendants’ future depends on the efforts you do today!!!