Zimbabwe: *Charity

Zimbabwe: *Charity

Date: May 19, 2016
  • SHARE:

My name is *Charity I came to know Gender Links in September 2013. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to be part of the entrepreneurship programme because my life has never been the same. I only went to school up to form two but when I met Gender Links I felt elevated and I regretted the years I wasted looking down upon myself. The most memorable lesson I took from the entrepreneurship programme after attending all the three phases was the importance of carrying out a market assessment and how to conduct it before venturing into a new project.

During the training I also learnt about gender based violence and ways of reducing violence in families. I also learnt about two types of businesses that is, farming and mining. On farming I was well informed of both subsistence and commercial types of agriculture. Subsistence farming involves the growing of crops for family consumption and commercial farming is the growing of crops for sale. The training made me to realise the real meaning of business. I realised that patience is one of the qualities needed for a successful business person.

The political environment in my area acted as an impediment that delayed me from achieving the set goals. I managed to overcome the problem through the application of the knowledge that I acquired during the training

Before I met Gender Links I used to be a full time house wife. Now I am into rabbit keeping project. I currently have 12 rabbits which I intend to increase with time. The programme however, helped in building self esteem. I used to undervalue myself and I lacked confidence. I was not able to contribute anything during discussions even in the church I was always very silent. I am now an independent person as I am free to do what I want with my money. I used to ask for everything from my husband and the situation always exposed me to violence. I now have relevant knowledge on business management regardless of the fact that I failed to access basic education while growing up.

I am now able to keep business records unlike before when I was running a “random” business without any intended goals. There is an improvement in my family because I am now able to help my husband to provide for the family. Gender Links groomed me into a hardworking woman who is now admired by people.

Our council is the one that linked me with Gender Links. I was identified by our local councillor to participate in the entrepreneurship programme. If it was not for the council through my councillor this lifetime opportunity was not going to come my way. Officials from Chitungwiza Municipality toured my business and took some pictures although they are yet to give me feedback.

I shared with my husband everything I learnt from the programme. He took an interest in what I told him and pledged to start a small business. Knowing him I did not think he was serious but he took me by surprise. He used the honorarium I received from Gender Links for attending the workshop and bought cattle heads. He cut them into sizeable pieces and sold them in our neighborhood. He was very excited about his new project and he managed it with enthusiasm and I could not believe how he quickly changed.

My relationship with my husband had become very sound because he now respects and values me. He is very keen on the business that we are doing and he encourages me during the days we experience low sales. We can now afford to eat what we desire in our home and our children are no longer being sent home for not paying school fees.

I am now convinced that adequate knowledge on gender based violence issues is very critical in bringing people together in marriages. Apart from the issues of gender based violence, I now have relevant skills needed to run a business like market research among others. I am seeing my business growing and by 2030 I will be operating a dairy farming business.