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Feminine Africa Voices – Gillian

Feminine Africa Voices: Gillian Parenzee | Mother | Teacher | Organic Grower | Ethical Entrepreneur

I’m a single mom. I homeschooled my child from a young age because he didn’t fit into a system. Having to go through the system was slowly destroying my boy. My homeschooling journey also was a challenge for me because I had to somehow find a way of bringing in an income while being there for my children. Some women want a career, some women want to stay at home. I wanted both. So we had some really interesting challenges. We started growing our own food. The whole family got involved in the business of being sustainable and sustaining ourselves. We discovered that there was more to life, that money was not the only determinant of a person’s value. The experience of working together as a family has made us stronger, it’s helped my children also to see how schooling needs to help them craft a life for themselves in the future, not removed from everyday life experiences. That involves having to grapple with things to grow and to learn. So this schooling has to involve a creative aspect that is rooted in being practical and this was the blessing that homeschooling gave us. I have now developed a business which really builds on my love for people, my love for the earth and my deep respect for honoring children into one space. And so I have a business now that focuses on promoting local, small, ethical businesses. I have my own brand, and where I can continue to be a part of my children’s lives, so I work from home because I’m a home industry. I was once told by a man that, “Gee whizz woman, you’re over liberated”, and I thought to myself, “Hold on a second….”


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