CHASING IN STILETTOS: JANET BHILA

I am the third child in a family of 5 and i will be turning 27 on the 14th of September. My passion is to work with people and impact on their lives for their good and betterment. I would like to see people move from poverty, own the mistakes they made in their lives and not let them govern or detect their future. I have been trained in HIV programming, mostly along the lines of facilitations and sexual reproductive health and rights of people and again mostly those of young people. I have been employed by SAFAIDS, YOCIC, Youth engage, International Community for Women living with HIV in Zimbabwe. and have collaborated with organisations in the HIV response.

As a young woman working in the HIV response, i have faced a lot of resistance from men who always take an opinion 4 rebellion (or rather for being governed by Beijing declaration.)  What has kept me strong and moving forward is what i stand for and my passion. eventually people get to understand who i am by spending more time and taking time to understand me.

I stand for equal opportunities for both men and women, in school, workplace, clinics, hospitals, jobs , etc. There is no sex i favour over the other. I encourage every girl to work hard to achieve their goals. I started fending for myself at the age of 20. From sanitary wear, clothing , food etc. with minimal help from my parents. Not out of lack of want on their part but, i come from a family that has been surviving below the poverty datum line of Zimbabwe. Again, i am not saying i am formally employed, but have been looking 4 interventions or opportunities that make me survive as a young lady, intentions that are healthy and not harmful or hazardous to my health. I am still trying to make it in life as an emerging strong young woman leader.

I have tried mentoring young women, but they failed to see the same vision i had. They all got married off at 15-19 years of age because they thought school was a waste of time, they felt getting married to a guy who has a job would help them financially only for them to realize that there was more to life. I am no longer in Bulawayo but they look for me through my mum for advice and maybe interventions of how they can better their lives. Some of the ladies are unfortunately too shy to accept my mum’s help.  This made me a little sad, however i have had to accept that not everyone you help will see in themselves the great potential you see in them.

I have discovered that Mentoring is painful because the person being mentored does not see their value or a brighter future. But, i would say soldier on as a young woman or man life is what you make it. also be able to be comfortable in the bed u make because it is you who will have to lie in it.

I look forward to reaching out to as many young women and men who have a passion to make an impact, the pioneers in our world. Those who have a vision of moving out of poverty into betterment. I look Forward to people who do not change and forget where they come from, who are moved to help the next person and who thrive to eradicate corruption and are able to channel resources to other deserving young people and not hog resources for themselves and their family’s future generation because the future lies in those who are present today.

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