Learning Journey: When perseverance pays off

Learning Journey: When perseverance pays off

Date: March 31, 2019
  • SHARE:

“Do what you can with all you have, wherever you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Each time I think about writing my learning journey I view it as a daunting task that I rather not do but each time I find myself smiling as I reflect on the year that has passed and how learning is always part of the equation and the adventures in between. Towards the end of 2018 my body was almost giving up on me. For a moment I thought maybe I should quit my job and give myself time to rest and heal, on second thought I decided am no quitter and no illness was going to dictate to me how to leave my life. I had a lot in my plate managing Botswana office and as I reflect at times took more than I should have. The secret now I know is learning to say NO when there is no longer space to accommodate others over yourself.” There is never time to be in quadrant 4 in GL because in our Botswana office those we service are very important and need to be given quality service they deserve.”   

In 2018 we settled back to our usual program work after spending 2017 as consultants for Botswana Government. With the skills acquired from the work especially patience I began my year. At Gender Links we always reinvent ourselves to remain relevant and also to improve service delivery. We took on Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights into our work. I had to learn very quickly since it had been many years since I worked on SRHR work. This meant working with other organisation, which was not a problem for me since I am used to working with many stakeholders. SRHR was well received by our local councils and their training was by far the best training I ever conducted with councils. Trained councils gave feedback to those who could not attend and we now have endless requests to repeat the training. Councils in partnership with SRHR NGOs drew their action plans to roll out the project and support those already doing some work at the local level.

Botswana for the past years has been very consistent in terms of local fundraising. The completion of the GBV study saw us start a new funding through EU. The priority areas included the 50/50 campaign and the Sunrise Campaign. Creating good working relationship with our stakeholders especially councils has seen Botswana leading in the number of survivors of GBV reached by councils since they took the project and infused it in their already existing programs geared towards eradicating poverty especially among women. The Sunrise Campaign has year in and year out touched my heart since I am able to see transformation in the women we have supported though out the campaign. We look forward to funding beyond 2019 to continue with our program work.

It breaks my heart to see such low representation of women in Botswana politics especially in parliament and local councils. Not all is lost since political parties through their women’s leagues have been keen to allow GL to work with the women standing for political posts in the 2019 general elections. The realisation is that there are less women standing for the 2019 general elections. To date we have managed to train a total of 153 women standing for both council and parliament. The response from the women has been amazing and it gives meaning to the work we do.

Ever since the introduction of the entrepreneurship training GL has been running trainings at local level and I was a facilitator in Botswana, in 2018 through the EU funding we introduced the training of trainers for the campaign. 15 councils showed interest in the campaign and were taken through the training. To date as Botswana office, we pride ourselves in having reached almost 200 women in Botswana through our TOTs in local councils. They continue to transform the lives of the women by helping them to become great business women.

To ensure timeous delivery as a manager means you have to find strategic ways of working including assigning roles to each officer with timelines. This has greatly helped in ensuring smooth running of the office. Supervising an officer who is able to manage herself like Keletso has allowed me time to attend to stakeholders with ease as I am sure she has everything under control.

I have learnt to be very organised in my work and to prioritise. More than that I have realised that relationship management is very important in our job. This year last minute BALA said they would not be part of the summit since they felt they had not been engaged well in the preparations. After the Gender Summit meetings were held to try and save our longest partnership. I believe that a lesson learnt is not to always assume that your partner is happy but ensure that they are happy. I have finally learnt that sometimes it is very important to take time out and take care of yourself so you can come back and be as productive as ever.

I thank Gender Links for the opportunity to be part of this great winning team. A special thank you to Sifisosami Dube GL’s Head of Governance & Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights for her patience as a supervisor.


  Written by: Gomolemo Rasesigo,  Gender Links Botswana Country Manager  

Comment on Learning Journey: When perseverance pays off

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *