I am a woman and mother of a girl child living with disability. One day I visited the Social and Community Development office to seek registration for her for assessment so that they can refer her to SOS children home. The S&CD office took long to attend to my child’s case. My child is deaf and she cannot do anything for herself. Her health status is at risk because she is picking food to eat from the dust bins. One day, I was visited by the savings group and they asked me how the girl is doing and how they can be of assistance.During the savings group visit they advised me on how to take good care of her looking at her current situation. After some time, they made a follow up and brought her some stuff and to my surprise they brought her box full of goods such as blankets, food and toiletry. I was so happy because I realised that people from the community were concerned about my child. The group visits her regularly to check on her accompanied by the social workers. They advised me to protect her from dangerous men who abuses young girls more especially those living with disabilities. They have also advised me to monitor her monthly periods. I am also thankful to the GROW program which assisted my family and I am now stress free.”
I am a lady of 37 years of age, living in Selebi-Phikwe. I heard about the savings group in 2014, got interested and decided to join the group of Motsewabadiri savings group. The first time when I started going to the savings group my intention was to save up and borrow money, when I have a problem and also discussing about the issues affecting us in our homes. In my first attendance I met all the women of the savings group and also Morula and Botekanelo savings groups.It was at the third time attending meetings in the savings group, we were discussing such issues of domestic violence. Most of the members had ideas and were willing to assist, so they encouraged me to talk about how I am abused and at last I spoke out. But by the time I was staying with a man in the house, who didn’t marry me and was pregnant with a child, and he was not allowing me to talk to people. He was abusing me sexually and also locking me inside the house, so that I may not talk with anyone. Today everything is different, everything has changed.
I was not able to participate in any of the activities or jobs in the community because my husband would not allow me to do so, and I was not able to share anything with my neighbours or relatives. Since I have joined the savings group, my life has change. I am able to save and borrow money, even to interact with other people and share my challenges with them so they could help me solve my problems. My husband really likes it. I have opened a small business, and my garden is doing very well. I am also able to work for the Ipelegeng program, something I was never allowed to before. I am always happy since I joined the savings group, and my husband is mobilising other men to form their group next year
My name is Maikano of Maiteko a Bomme Savings group (not her real name). I joined the group on the 11th May 2014. Before I joined, I was living at the cattle post that side of Botshabelo and my children go to school in Botshabelo. They walk a long distance. They ended up not going to school anymore because of the distance they travel to get there and back. One day we made an activity as Maiteko a Bomme group and we invited the Matshelo savings group. We work with this group mostly during our activities. During discussions on social issues I told the other members that I have a challenge of my children refusing to go to school because of long distances. We discussed the issue on how we can bring them to Botshabelo to shorten their distance. The group members agreed to discuss the issue with my sister, who is staying in Botshabelo, whom I was afraid to talk to. I believed that she will not agree. They talked to my sister and she simply agreed. After that they called my 4 children and talked to them. They gave them counselling and the children agreed to go back to school. Some group members meet every Friday with my children to see how they are doing in school and how they are performing. As I speak my children are at school and they are doing very fine. I thank the group members for helping me with my children.The other thing is that in our group we contribute P50-00 each weekly. As of now we all have a small business – tuck shops. The money we contribute ads up to P500 every month and we give loans to each other to start up or pick up their business. This has improved our tuck shops as we can afford to buy stock with that money and our businesses grow. Child Aid and the group have really improved my life socially and economically.”
“I am a lady of 49 years of age. I am a single mother doing piece jobs to earn a living for me and of my family. I have three children and I am HIV positive. At first I did not accept this status because of the fact that I was scared that I will die and leave my children suffering. There will be no one to take care of them. In 2013 I met a Child Aid Area leader and she provided counselling. I finally accepted my situation. We also discussed about positive living as that’s how I can live long with the HIV virus. And also, when my child failed at school, Child Aid project continued to advise. This year my child was admitted at Construction Industry Training centre. The area leader came to me and talked to me about the savings groups and I joined”. Also the GROW members helped and motivated me until my life came better. I thank the Child Aid people a lot because without them I could not manage anything at all. I encourage you to keep on doing that good job.”
Mabutsane Economic Strengthening group (ES) is comprised of 7 women who started recycling of paper to make crafts and ear rings and jam production using melons. They are sell their finished products to the community members and they have collaborated with S&CD for the group to be part of district market day activities where they can sell and showcase their products. The group coordinator had a meeting with district social and community development office to request support for the group through government alternative package, they were then assessed to find out if they qualified for assistance. The good news is that they met the minimum requirements.