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Ganite Gedabayso (24) is a mother of three daughters who lives in the Shepi district in South Omo, Ethiopia.
Thanks to funding from Irish Aid, Ganite attended a women’s self-help group which was run by Cafod, Sciaf and Trócaire, and WE Action/Women’s Empowerment Action. Today, thanks to her training, Ganite is the leader of the Women’s League, a local government-run group that empowers thousands of women.
“I heard about the self-help group and wanted to see for myself. I understood that I might have an opportunity to learn and grow, to become a better person,” Ganite said.
“When I first went to the meetings, I was a little bit scared, but soon found many other people just like me, everyone was very friendly.”
“I learned from the other group members how to socialise in public, how to communicate with other people, how to hold conversations, how to learn to speak my mind. I learnt how to engage with people, how to solve different problems.”
Ganite said that after her training, she was better able to to participate in formal and informal decision-making at all levels.
“After all my learning I feel that I am better at negotiating at home with my family, especially my husband and his family. I have been able to negotiate problems successfully with my husband’s family to prevent conflict.”
“I am currently the leader of the Women’s League which contains thousands of women. These women have not had the same opportunity to join the CST/WEA self-help group so they do not have the same training I have had. Being the leader is giving me the opportunity to pass these skills on, to train thousands more women how to become more self-confident, to become better negotiators, to become new women.”
The mother-of-three also passes her new skills onto her three young daughters.
“If I could tell Kalkidan (7) one thing? It would be to listen to others, think positive thoughts, and just be you. I have many expectations for her as she grows. I hope she will move into an urban centre and become well educated. I would like her to start her own business, too. I guess I am starting that for her now.”
Ganite added that her training would not have been possible without the support of the Irish Government.
“Sabi Emeni, that means thank you in Ari.”