The goal of the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) is to provide an instrument for change which addresses the multidimensional aspects of poverty. SHG participation also aids in the development of collaboration and self-efficacy as members meet weekly to discuss pertinent issues affecting themselves and their community. Through cooperation and interdependence, individuals learn how to take ownership for the transformation of their own community.
A major focus of the SHG model is to equip families to become economically self-sufficient, while still being unified socially and economically within a larger support network.
SHGs serve many functions;
- they are a space to develop self-advocacy skills,
- to participate in collaborative decision making,
- to build individual and group savings,
- and to borrow small loans from one another.
Within their SHG, program participants track and discuss group loans and savings amounts, future employment and business plans, as well as personal and community matters. Our families open their own personal saving accounts and also belong to a shared SHG bank account. Each SHG collectively decides on the minimum amount of money that members must deposit into their SHG account each week. We are very proud of the progress and courage displayed by our families! For many, the concept of savings and loans can be challenging and scary after spending a large portion of their lives scavenging or begging to survive. SHGs play a significant part in alleviating poverty through helping families develop sustainable incomes and employment.
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