“My daughters are most important”: A mother makes a difficult decision and works hard to reach her goals
Gloria* smiles all the time. Today, she sells vegetables to earn a living and aspires one day to become an event planner and have her own bakery. But before this new beginning, she had to make a difficult decision to start over.
For Gloria, 39, the decision to leave her husband was not easy, but was something she felt she had to do. "I decided to separate because we did not live a good life,” she says. “We began to fight all the time, to shout at each other, so I decided to be strong and say: I can do it alone, for my daughters."
Gloria had emigrated to Chile with her husband and daughters. She had an office job as a vehicle importer and she was good at her job. But she knew that that the tranquility of her daughters was more important than anything.
Today, Gloria sells vegetables, cleans houses and has also started a cake business. “I always like to find a way to earn a living,” she says.
According to the latest studies, five out of 10 women in Bolivia suffer some form of violence. Bolivian law classifies gender violence in 16 types: physical, femicide, psychological, economic, sexual, among others. For many of those women, is very difficult to make the decision to leave their partners and change their situation because of a traditional culture and society.
These traditional ideas were not the exception in Gloria’s case. Her family disagreed with her decision to leave her partner. “My mom is a little more conservative because she was raised that way. She used to say, ‘if you get together with a person, it's forever. Why are you separating from your partner?’”
But Gloria persevered. “It was quite difficult, it was a tough decision, it cost me a lot. I used to cry at first. I thought it was my fault, but then I said to myself: things happen for a reason, I will get over this. And today… I look after myself and my daughters, and I am always moving ahead every day more and more to reach my goals.”
Gloria found the support she needed at SOS Children's Villages. They helped her with courses and training to become an entrepreneur. She also received psychological support from the Family Strengthening Program. “They asked me what I wanted to study and what I liked. Since I like crafts and working with my hands, my SOS Advisor suggested I take an event planning class or hospitality management.” Today, thanks to her effort, Gloria has reduced her doubts and increased her dreams.
Among other things, she dreams of having her own bakery, raising her daughters, and seeing them as professionals one day.
“To have health and life until they are professionals, that is my goal,” she says. “My dream is for them to have a profession. Through my business, I aim one day to have my own home or land.” She leaves behind her fears and believes that with a strong will, nothing is impossible.
“Willingness to say if it can be done, I can, I will achieve it. We do not need to fear facing life without a partner. A partner is a compliment, a support. But if your partner is not supporting you, your partner is not a complement. Or, if he is hurting you, you are wasting your time and your life. You are putting your daughters at risk. You must have willpower and a stronghold."
Although Gloria’s life continues to hold challenges, she finds her strength in her three daughters. They are a reminder that she made the right decision.
“My daughters radiate joy and tranquility, they are happy and they are my support. When I tell them we are going to do something, they say, ‘let's do it!”
*Names changed to protect privacy.