I ended up here, through a lady I met at a party. That was my luck to speak to that lady. I’m sure she sensed I was in a situation where I needed someone to lift me up. She brought me here. I was just getting piece-jobs, doing casual char work, one day or two days. It was not working. I would just put a light on, and the money was gone. I was running out of bread.
When I came here, I lived on bread. Food was a luxury for me. I always tried not to panic because I had to be happy for my kids. I would put a smile, so you don’t know how hard my life is. Especially for my baby boy. I had to put a mask to show all was well, but deep down I was just praying. You can’t show kids that the world is cruel. You need to give them strength every day and you’re supposed to be providing. Instead of buying me luxuries like underwear, I give everything I have to my son.
The dad was there but he was not there. He was an alcoholic priest. He is even worse now that I divorced him. I kept him after the divorce for two years, but it was worse. I thought because of the child, because I divorced him that he will change. He never. For all my marriage time that I kept him, I was hoping that one day he would change for his boy. He was lucky to get jobs, but all the money would go to buying drinks and buying for other people. We were fighting all the time. I wanted food, just for the child. I was breastfeeding for a year, he only got solid food when he one year old.
This lady explained the TCB to me very well. I needed something to change my life. I thought, this is the time for me. Before I did try to sell stuff here and there, but it didn’t work. All the money I make I take for food, then there is no money to buy more stock. It was a lack of knowledge.
At 4am I kick the blankets away. I don’t need to sleep. I need to be here. I am standing outside here to shop early in the morning. I sell door to door. I go in the rain. I’ll go in the sun. I enjoy it now. I just tell myself, ‘I’m not coming back with this stuff’ and I sell it.
Today, my kids are wearing branded clothes. I am sleeping in a comfortable bed because of this TCB. My house is beautiful, though it’s a mini house, and it’s still going to be beautiful. I learnt to patch my deep emotional wound so that I can reach my target.
If you are starting at the TCB I would tell you to preserve, don’t give up. You are not going to get rich here today, you need to learn. That learning is what I like about this place. You come here without knowing how business works, expecting things to change in a moment, but it doesn’t work this way. You have to learn everything. You have to humble yourself.
I’m trying to patch that gap for my child, from before, so even if he remembers the old things, he will remember just a little. Our lives were affecting my child, he wouldn’t play with other kids. His daddy was an alcoholic and his mamma doesn’t have anything.
You come here from a world outside that doesn’t care. Here you are taught to respect another person, to love another person. They instil values here. There are lots of different characters here. You respect someone else, and you don’t look down on anyone. I wish all women can come into this programme, it’s very unique from all the experience I’ve had in the outside the world. Here you learn to lift another women if she’s suffering, out there we pull her down further instead. I’m taking what I’ve learnt here back to my community because not everybody is going to be in this programme.
I’m a respected woman in my community, now they notice me. Before I was not noticed, even by my family. They call me, I put on my nice clothes, nice perfume then I can mix with them. Oh wow, they look at me. The time has arrived for me. I don’t know where I would be without my TCB.