Botswana: Totanang Gasemodimo

Botswana: Totanang Gasemodimo

Date: April 11, 2016
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In the year 2013 I started the programme with Gender Links and have attended all the 3 seminars that were held in my area. I learned a lot of stuff such as how to run a business, save money for the business and also how to grow my business. To date I am running my business successfully, I am a vendor and I sell items such as sweets, drinks etc. I am able to save money to help sustain my family.

Although all the lessons were important to me one that particularly caught my eye is how to use a computer, how to save money and how to ensure development in my business. All this apply to my current business and has aided me to reach as far as I have come. I had already had my business when I started the GL programme and have been able to expand after lessons from Gender Links. I looked for help from the Council who referred me to Poverty Eradication programme who at the moment have started building me a chicken house to enable me to poultry farm.

I experienced abuse from the man that I was traditionally married to, there is no longer abuse in my household as we live in peace and happiness, love reigns all the time now.  Although we are no longer together he supports me and our children with utmost love and we are good friends. For me to escape the abuse there was meetings with both our parents who helped us break up peacefully and that is how I left the abusive relationship. Currently my parents are assisting me with my business and I have given myself up to God.  The main difference in my life is that my child is now doing well in school, she no longer sees me in pain and forever at the police station reporting her father. Before while the abuse was at peak she used to be at the forefront of everything which affected her schoolwork massively.

Because I have my own my own income I am less prone to abuse as I am now very independent and do not require a man to assist me always. I aim to help those around me who are in the midst of abuse to get help from different organisations such as GL and social workers, I now help the women that I sell with in the street by educating them about abuse and ways they may escape abuse.

The knowledge that I have acquired from the programme is to get help from the services provided by the government and also how to obtain loans from different banks so I grow my business. My vision is that I may be able to grow and expand my business with no assistance from a man, I will engage different organisations that I was taught helped small to medium enterprises such as myself to train me further and assist financially.

By the year 2030 I hope to have a supermarket, I hope to move away from the streets and have a premises to sell my products at. I wish to have a house of my own where I will live with my family members in tranquillity. What I can advise is that to run a business one needs to be patient, loving and determined.