Last week Sunday the 24th marked a different day. Single mothers from various backgrounds gathered at a seminar in an effort to unpack their experiences and how they can live purposeful lives.
However, tea timeÔÇöwhich is a timeless way of talking any issue out, was the balm of the conversations shared during this event. Hosted by ‘Maruping Go A Boelwa’ Behavioural Change Network at UB, the meet-up was set to empower women in their different capacities.
Single moms are still forced into the shadows of society ÔÇö ostracized by family members, discriminated against at work and all the while, trying to raise children without a network of support. With over 40 percent of households in Botswana headed by women, event co-ordinator and founder Portia Diteko, says such an event presented a new perspective of tackling issues that single mothers deal with.
“Pressures faced by single mothers such as social stigma, financial responsibilities and uncertainties can at times be debilitating for women. We wanted to create a space where they can share their life experiences with each other in a way that will leave them inspired. Prior to the event we probed single mothers on their experiences and this is how the event came about,” added Diteko.
Geneuvieve Twala, a motivational speaker who recently published her collection of poetry title ‘Yet I Stand Tall,’ shared her experience as a single mother of four and rising above the challenges. “My passion for youth and human rights has driven me to venture in this direction and the journey has been eye opening,” she stated.
On the legal issues and policies that women need to institutionalise themselves with such as co-parenting agreements, maintenance and custody, Lawyer and Women Rights Activist Mandipa Machacha emphasised that women must educate themselves on their rights and what they pertain.
Thato Mochupisi, who suffered in an abusive marriage, enlightened the ladies on self-branding, self love and goal setting. She said “Self love is important. Going through the emotions and embracing the healing journey is vital for all of us.”
Another attendee said, “I hope we have more events of this nature as we need emotional support and to be educated on various things. I’m leaving this seminar inspired and motivated.”
Maruping Go A Boelwa is an NGO that focuses on eradicating problem behaviour in Botswana through research and event based programs. This event was hosted by radio personality Tshepiso Sebonego who is also a single mother and is the host of a show that explores all facets of womanhood.