WHEN Highway resident Irena Skibinski lost her husband to suicide she was devastated. Life for Skibinski felt as though it was on a downward spiral as she felt she had nowhere to go and no one to talk to. “My husband drowned himself in the Duzi and I was literally homeless because my son threw me out of his house after my husband’s suicide,” she said.Even though she did have a flat she said that she couldn’t stay there. Luckily, her friend offered her a place to stay.“I stayed with her until I bought my own place,” Skibinski said.Eventually, Skibinski started getting back on her feet and it was at this time that she joined a women’s empowerment group to help her understand herself better, as well as learn skills to develop herself.“I joined the Women’s Institute. This organisation has played a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities, the chance to build new skills, take part in a wide variety of activities and campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities,” she said.“I qualified to be a member in 2015, affiliated to the Agriculture Women’s Union. “I also qualified as a judge for crochet, embroidery and other things which are hand-made,” said Skibinski.Skibinski, who is also a volunteer at the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (Hact), said that now she is teaching ladies embroidery, cooking, crochet and whatever they want to do.“With the trauma I went through, I chose to keep myself busy by helping those in need and I lived by our motto which states that one should empower and enrich other women to be greater,” she stated.In conclusion she said that women should not let their current situation get them down but rather get up and do something which will help them release their pain and traumatic thoughts.“Let us stand up and be proud of who we are.“Everyone is unique in their own way, we should always lend a helping hand to others,” she said.