It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop

Date: June 26, 2020
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 “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”Tony Robbins

With Gender Links (GL) University it is always about learning new things, trying, failing and wiping off the dust off and shine, 2019 was not the exception as I have grown not only on personal but professional. It has been another year of so amazing things and of course disappointment but isn’t what the life is all about.

I work as a programme and finance officer in Lesotho office, a very small office of two people but do their job exceptionally well in terms of delivering. My important and core deliverables are Monitoring and evaluation, which entails data being correctly entered into the system for all the events including participant info, event info, and evaluation forms.  Interviewing and writing drivers of change which is a tool that shows the change in people who worked with GL. It so fulfilling to go back to people we have worked with and see how our different programmes have impacted their lives. It also makes them very happy when they see their stories published on website and being able to share with other people. My other deliverable which I am very amazed every day when I remember where I am coming from and not having any financial background is routine finance where  I have to make sure that the office comply and pay our Pay as You Earn every month, use the procurement modules on pastel to do our payments. After all that has been done I make sure that I do the reconciliations as to balance all the account per month and nothing makes me more prouder than seeing my accounts balancing.

Even though I try all  my best  do my work very well  sometimes I still make mistakes  which I believe are the ones that make me grow and push to do better. As a person I believe as long as you accept when made mistakes and try to rectify them is the best thing that makes a person to grow. Mistakes are there are pave our paths and even make us better people. Last year during our interim audit one of my accounts was not balancing which is one of the most important aspect in the audit, I was so stressed and blamed myself for not doing my job properly but having such a strong team all was sorted and thanks to Ricardo who is always willing to help me at any time, he would go extra mile and make sure that he takes me every step and make sure that I understand. “Thanks abuti oaka your everyday assistance is not going unnoticed” Also Keletso from Botswana has been super amazing to me since I have been doing finance and she would go to the extent of leaving her work and literally doing mine as to make sure that I am on the right path. All in all I do not think I would have done all these or even be able to deliver if it was not because of my super hero Manager ‘Me’ Manteboheleng. She makes sure that I do my job exceptionally  well and gives all the support she could, I do not think I will ever thank her enough, and I guess it is true when they say “teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”

Since working at GL I have learnt so much and every time I look back to how I was when I first joined GL and now I get so emotional and amazed at the same time. The experience and knowledge I have is beyond this world and believe my life will never be the same again. I try my best to share the knowledge I have gained with people especially the ones that I interact with during our workshops and have seen that through our changing lives stories. Last year we got money from UNFPA Lesotho and we had to work with men which was something very new at  GL as we only used to be working with women or both women and men, but with that project we had to work with only men and it  such was an  amazing experience. We were able to interact more at personal level and got to understand their behaviour and how and why they do certain things. Such moments helped my learning and be less judgmental. One particular  exercise made me feel so proud; we asked them to tell us what is the really man according to them as individuals and the responses we got helped me to see that our works touches so many lives and changes the way people think or have been thinking all these time. ” For me a real man is a man that takes responsibility in his family and be able to learn new things and embrace change when it happens.” One of the husband school participant’s Ntate Limpho Mosola said. Nothing makes me happy than seeing people that we have been working with change for better and being able to see things differently. And I was very happy to have completed all the four sessions with our husband school participants, we even had the graduation ceremonies as to appreciate their participation and they were super happy.

This year we had planned to visit them once again to do the impact assessment as to see how their different lives have been changed and get to know from their families how they are doing. But now I am sitting here all by self and asking myself if that time will ever come and will we be able to see them again. We had the 2020 well planned and were so looking forward to kick start a year with our #voiceandchoice national summit that was supposed be on the 24th and 25th March 2020.All the preparations were done and participants well informed just waiting for the day when the government announced the lockdown due to this global pandemic COVID 19 and everything had to be cancelled. It was so difficult for us as the office to accept the news and be able to inform the people who were so looking forward to the summit .But we had to accept because everything was done for our own safety and that is when I realized how serious is the pandemic. We had to work from home which means self-pushing but doesn’t take away the fear I have developed. Everyday Iam scared for myself and wonder if I will be able to see the next day, Iam scared for my country because Lesotho doesn’t have all these medical facilities for the corona virus even now the suspects swabs are taken to South Africa and they take such a long time which frustrates so much and how do we even say we do not have any reported cases yet we do not have facilities? I am really scared and wonder if it comes to our country what will it do. I am very scared!

Ntolo Lekau, Lesotho Programme Officer

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