Zambia: Charity Mambisa

Zambia: Charity Mambisa

Date: April 14, 2016
  • SHARE:

I am Charity Mambisa Sinami from Chililabombwe, I am married, and have two beautiful daughters. I first heard about Gender links through a friend Bianca who told me that they were selecting women who had gone through abuse from their spouses for Entrepreneurship training. Attending this meeting was the best thing that has ever happened to me. In the company of the same friend, we went to the said meeting and were only greeted by a number of women some whom I know within the community. I was so surprised to learn that they were also going through GBV as I had always looked at them as people who were living very happy marriage lives. It was to me some sort of relief to learn that I was not the only one undergoing GBV.

My marriage has been an abusive one in that my husband used to engage in extra marital affairs. As such my marriage life suffered as my husband had to share his attention between me and his girlfriends. My children also became victims as they mostly lacked in terms of food, school fees and time to be with their father. As he sometimes would spend nights away from home.  My children and I would sometimes sleep on an empty stomach due to lack of food in the home. We could never sit down with my husband to talk about anything with regards to the welfare of the family. My husband stopped seeing any value in me as a wife. He would call me all sorts of names. This used to hurt me a lot. One worst experience was when he used to pay college fees for his young girlfriend when my child would not go to pre-school due to lack of school fees. Back then I was not engaged in any business. I decided to start keeping chickens for sale but could not continue due to lack of business expertise. I tried to look for employment but could not find any as I was under qualified because I only went up to secondary school without any further qualifications in terms of skill or work experience. Because of this, I tried to move from one business to the other but only made losses. This frustrated me even further as I had used up the little resources I had.

As the saying goes, every dark cloud has a silver lining. I attended all the three trainings by Gender Links and learnt a number of things ranging from market research, GBV, growing a business and writing a business plan. This training made me realise that it was of great importance for me to engage in a business especially that I now had the knowledge that I was lacking. I borrowed money from my family and started up a poultry business where I keep about 100chickens for sale. I also realised that I needed to go back to school but did not have the means to, in terms of finances. In a quest to raise money for school, I started lending money to people to pay back with an interest of 50%.This has helped me to raise funds for school. I am currently doing a teaching course in early childhood Education in Kitwe because I have future plans of owning a school.

My husband now appreciates the change that I have undergone. He even supports me by paying part of my school fees unlike in the past when he would concentrate on his girlfriend. I can proudly say my relationship with my husband has improved, he now supports the family. And I now feel confident about myself. I am now able to move with my head high as I now feel a sense of worth due to the way my husband treats me now. The people in the community respects me because of who I am today. It breaks my heart to hear about a woman being mistreated because I know how it feels. To help other people get out of GBV, I always advocate for self-reliance for women. I have had chance to encourage women in communities to be able to engage in to small enterprises or go back to school as a preventive measure for GBV because I believe there exists a relationship between economic empowerment and Gender based violence.