Gaborone District Commissioner’s office in partnership with the City Council recently held a Poverty Eradication Market Day under the theme ‘Empowering Small Entrepreneurs to Reach Greater Heights.’

The Poverty Eradication Programme popularly known as Nyeletso Lehuma was established in 2010.

Our Reporter Portia Ngwako-Mlilo interviewed some of the beneficiaries of this programme to find out how it has changed their lives.

Making ends meet with nyeletso lehuma
Julia Matlhare

In 2014 I was enrolled under this programme and by then I was struggling.

I had worked in a bakery for 20 years so I applied for this initiative to start my own business because I had the experience.

I bake scones, cakes and all kinds of bread.

I get orders even outside Gaborone.

I employed five people last year because the business has grown.

This business has made a huge positive impact in my life, I have managed to build a house, connect electricity and I have a bank account where I save the profit I make.

Making ends meet with nyeletso lehuma

Kebadire Masolobane

I was a bricklayer hired by a construction company and I accidentally fell from a building and broke my knee.

I couldn’t carry on working. I used the compensation to go for sewing training for a year in 2012 and started a fashion design business.

After being enrolled in this programme I went for training again and registered a company ‘Keromilwe Patch Work.’

They bought me sewing machines. I am still looking for an office so that I can employ other people.

I do replica for local football teams’ supporters.

I have two kids and with this business I am able to take care of them, pay their school fees and save for the future.

As a disabled person I depend on mini shows to market my products and on a good month I can make about P6 000 profit.

Making ends meet with nyeletso lehuma

Ratanang Masebu

I started furniture making and upholstery in 2014.

I have hired three people. I had an office in the Main Mall, thieves stole my equipment and I did not have enough money to replace it.

I decided to apply for Poverty Eradication Programme funds in 2016 and they bought me machinery.

In a month I can make more than P15 000 because I get tenders from big companies and embassies.

I have a Facebook page, pamphlets and business cards to market my business.

Making ends meet with nyeletso lehuma

Fiona Mandevu

I started selling trees in 2004. I was unemployed and this business has changed my life for the better.

I am able to pay rent and take care of my child and parents.

Poverty Eradication Programme bought me shade netting for the trees, equipment and water tanks.

To avoid paying high water bills during the rainy season I use the tanks to collect and reserve water for my plants.

This business needs patience and passion. I am making money from this business; on a busy day where there is a lot of movement of people I can make P2000.

Making ends meet with nyeletso lehuma

Hilda Sydney

I started this jewelry-making project in 2016 through Poverty Eradication Programme.

They gave me P15 000 to buy material.

I used to do this when I was at primary school making rings and handbags with plastics.

I buy beads in South Africa and it is an expensive business except for the handbags because I recycle plastic bags.

There is no market for this business I can spend months not selling a single item and it is through the market day that I sell my products.

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