Zimbabwe: *Eddie Mpofu

Zimbabwe: *Eddie Mpofu


Date: May 17, 2016
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Discouraged to participate economically and transformed by the entrepreneurial program. Life without any economic skills has made me to live under poverty and has turned me to an invisible member of the society until Gender Links (GL) rescued me from my miserable situation and transformed me to an independent woman.

My name is Eddie* l have been living under chronic poverty and abuse because l was dependent without any life skills to survive. I have been married to Ray* for a long time and for my entire life l have never been employed or participated in any economic activity so as to gain income. I started to notice that my life has changed when Ray could not support his family because he started to drink a lot and had extramarital affairs. Ray* spent his money on supporting his girlfriends while me and our children where languishing in poverty. At first l informed his family about his negative behavior but none listened to me. It had become so difficult so survive because l had nowhere to get the income. Ray started to abuse me physically and l was afraid to report the case to the police because l was afraid thinking that maybe he would abuse me even more. I was afraid to tell anyone about my abuse because l thought that it was my private life. I became so passive that l did not share my story with anyone.

I heard about GL when l was abandoned and living under poverty with my children. I heard about GL from friends and l was encouraged to join the entrepreneurial skills program so as to be able to empower myself economically. At first l was hesitant about joining the entrepreneurial skills programs because l thought l was not capable.

I attended all the courses from the entrepreneurial training program and that is when l became very optimistic about life. I came up with a business plan and l started a business with the help of the skills from the GL program. I started selling fruits and vegetables and l managed to record all my financial records and this in a way has allowed me to recognize the profits and the losses in my business.

Also l have been able to budget my finances so as to start a new business basically on selling clothes and also vending. The entrepreneurial skills played a crucial role in allowing me to participate economically and gain income so as to support my children. I have been able to manage my business and also l keep my financial books up to date. Through the GL skills l have been able to pay school fees for my children and also pay all the rents needed in the house. I have achieved a lot in my life because of the entrepreneurship program. I have been able to support my parents who are not working and l am taking care of my siblings and my own children too.

The GL program has positively equipped me because l have been able to participate in building up the society and also in uplifting the young generation which has not seen the reality about life.  The GL program has also in a way allowed me to be confident about life and also it has given me the strength to associate with anyone in the society and to be independent and not to depend on anyone else.

At community level l have managed to associate with other women especially those who are involved in the vending business like me l always inform them on the lessons from the workshops. Also through the entrepreneurial program l have notice that the community at large undermines a woman who is not economically active. I have gained respect from the community members again and have become an inspiration to many women.

GL has transformed my life to a greater extent and has allowed me to engage in two different businesses and l am able to get profit from my two businesses. The economic empowerment l attained has changed my relationship with most people especially my husband who is not employed now but l am able to take care of him and the children at the same time. Also l have played a key role in transforming my sister economically she is now a vendor also.

I thank GL for the great knowledge they gave me that has changed me to an independent woman who is economically powerful. GL has made me visible in my society.