My name is Zewuditu Gutata. I am 50 years old. I am married and have six children. I was marginalized who was destined to lead a destitute life with my family. Even though my husband was employed in the state farm, his monthly earning barely supported our daily needs as the entire family was dependant only on this income. I had no job and did not have the skill to generate income nor had access to loan. Hence, our life was from hand to mouth not mentioning that there was a time when the family went to bed starving. To add nail to a coffin; my husband’s employment did not continue due to restructuring of state owned enterprises and he could not find another job due to frustration and health problem. Then, I realized that the burden had fallen on me. Hence, I began to work as a house med for other people selling my labor in return to gain income on cash and sometimes in kind. What mattered was not coming home bare hand.
Time went by, life was challenging and struggle to keep life go on and the children to pursue their education. I was excluded from all social matters and information due to busy life to support the family until one day came that curved my life and changed my livelihood. The fortune came on my way to business as usual and I encountered with Siiqqee Social Worker Jalale. She was mobilizing destitute women for the Self Help Group and asked if I would like to join the group. Part of me was shouting loud to take time and know more about it, while the other half was hesitant and just shouting as wastage of time and nagging me to better hurry up not to miss the daily bread. However, I brought my thoughts together and listened joining the other women who gathered for the same purpose. Without knowing, I started filling with joy deep inside my soul. It did not take me long to decide to join the group. I am part of the group since 2008 and we started our weekly saving with three birr. SWDA also gave some seed money as an incentive to the group which helped us to take loan. Then, I stopped working as a result of access to loan and life skill and business development training and commenced retail trade on market days which generated profit and money I never had while working for other people. As soon as I started getting better income, I purchased electric line & counter which we could not afford before. My children got better chance to perform well in their respective classes. We gradually fulfilled our basic necessities. Today, two of my children have graduated and employed and one is at the university while others are in high school. Developing saving culture, time and resource management, gender equality and resisting violence was the main achievements I got from the program. I am grateful to All Mighty God for that particular day and endurance to see better life today.
I have a plan to help the remaining children succeed in their life and lead better life. Thank you in deed.
When Empowerment hits its target
“…… Besides the economic gain from the membership of Self Help Group, we had safe space to strengthen our social bondage and form solidarity. I became assertive enough in public arena and my participation
increased after I joined the group. I earned respect from my husband and community for the first time. Knowledge of right based approach enhanced my decision making power at the household level and in social matters that affects me and my fellow colleagues. It also helped me and the group to raise collective voice against any kind of mal-treatment and gender discrimination. “
Sure Waqwaya from
Guttee Badiya kebele