Self-Help International

Self-Help International (SHI) devotes its efforts to alleviating world hunger and poverty by providing opportunities to rural citizens that ultimately lead to self-reliance. Since its inception, Self-Help has served as a vessel; training, education, and opportunities are provided to rural citizens and whole communities in developing countries so that they can have better lives. MISSION STATEMENT: To alleviate hunger by helping people help themselves. SELF-HELP'S INITIATIVE Educate: We educate the people of the United States to understand the problems of life in developing countries particularly the awareness of the perpetual struggle by millions to produce and distribute food to battle p...
Jul 7, 2014

Feeding Program Builds Communal Spirit

Enrollment has increased since the program began.
Enrollment has increased since the program began.

It is a common practice for schools to have Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs). Such associations exist to meet and plan together with the school board. It is however uncommon for members of the association to come together and work with their hands. The feeding program in most participating communities is helping to change the trend. Parents now come together and farm to make sure there is a regular supply of maize to support the program. A member of the Kontomire PTA, John, tells Self-Help the school farm has helped to strengthen communal spirit; parents are getting to know each other much better. He hopes that it extends to the larger community to encourage implementation of community projects like construction of latrines and safe drinking water sources. Projects like these will help reduce the incidents of disease and illness.

John recounted the commitment with which the association rallied behind the idea of building a kitchen for the school. The kitchen is needed to make sure the cooking is done in a safe and hygienic environment, and without any disruption from rains. Construction is ongoing but they now have a roof and some protection from the rain.

The community tells SHI they have seen improvement in school enrollment, especially among Kindergarten 1 (KG1) and Kindergarten 2 (KG2), and Class 1. Enrollment increased from 139 in term two to 158 in term three representing a growth of 13 percent. More children now attend school. The challenge to provide breakfast for children before going to school is being addressed by the feeding program and relieves parents of worry.

In June 2014, SHI interviewed two KG1 children; Janet and Victoria, both six-years-old.

Janet eats breakfast before going to school but her friend Victoria goes to school each morning on an empty stomach. Both of them eat the QPM breakfast SHI provides. Janet says the food makes her strong while Victoria says she is able to concentrate on her studies much better. Victoria and children like her would not go to school without the feeding program. The feeding program has contributed to increased enrollment and attendance and helps less fortunate children like Victoria.

Increased enrollment, though positive has exposed another weakness in the school; infrastructure. The school does not have enough classrooms and furniture to cater for the growing number of children in the community who want to go to school. However, with the growing enthusiasm and spirit in the community, the possibility of the community coming together to build more classrooms could be a reality.

Your support has helped this community, and others like it, come together to provide food for their children. Thank you for your donation.

Janet, age 6
Janet, age 6
Victoria, age 6
Victoria, age 6

Links:

Jun 3, 2014

Lydia makes progress

Lydia stands next to her new sewing machine
Lydia stands next to her new sewing machine

Lydia is 36 years old and has two daughters, ages 11 and 2 ½ years old. In 2010, she made the decision to join the Self-Help International micro credit program in Bedaabour. She had witnessed improvements in the lives of people who had joined the program when it first came to the village in 2008 and became convinced that the program could help her help herself.

Lydia completed seamstress apprenticeship in 2000 and started practicing thereafter. Ten years down the line, there was no sign of improvement in her finances. Bedaabour is a small community with fewer than 50 dresses sewn annually; most of which are sewn during Christmas. It was difficult caring for her only daughter, and earning additional income was a must. She took out a loan from SHI in order to expand her business to trading fabrics in addition to sewing them.

The sale of fabrics serves as a boost to her sewing business. Rather than people purchasing fabrics elsewhere and bringing the fabrics to Lydia to sew, they can now come to her to purchase the fabrics and have the clothing made all in one place. In 2013, she was able to invest in a new sewing machine. She saves part of her profit and re-invests the rest to expand her petty trading. With extra money earned, Lydia is able to provide her daughters with food, clothing and continued education.

Despite her new purchase, Lydia keeps her old sewing machine even though it no longer works because it helps her remember the past and how far she’s come.

Because of your support, Lydia and many women like her can find success and in the process provide better care for their families. Thank you for your donation.

Lydia selling her merchandise
Lydia selling her merchandise

Links:

May 20, 2014

Water quality improved in four communities

CAPS leader Marcial Arce from Los Chiles
CAPS leader Marcial Arce from Los Chiles

In this first quarter of the year, Self-Help International has been conducting visits to each community where we have chlorinators installed with the purpose of providing technical support, advising, and assistance in order to keep the CT-8 chlorinators operating effectively and efficiently. Self-Help staff also went to several communities where no chlorinators, or any other type of water treatment, were yet installed to promote the CTI-8 chlorinators by means of technical presentation, chlorinator display, and discussions explaining the benefits of this technology.

During this time, Self-Help installed five new CTI-8 chlorinators in the following municipalities: Morrito, San Miguelito, San Carlos and El Castillo. Staff also distributed 260 chlorinator tablets to all of the communities that benefit from this program. Up until today we have installed 27 CTI-8 chlorinators and provided clean water to 28,278 people, preventing several kinds of preventable illnesses like diarrhea.  

In the communities where we have CTI-8 chlorinators installed, the people have shared with Self-Help International that they are really happy and thankful for the organization and its staff for providing the opportunity to improve water quality. Now they feel more confident when they drink the treated water. Also because SHI provides advising on how to avoid illnesses by taking actions such as using the chlorinated water to wash their hands after using the facilities, wash their hands before each time of meal, wash the dishes, wash the vagetables and fruits before using them and eating to prevent diahrrea, parasites, and renal infections. People in the community have said that their children look much healthier now that have access to clean water, rather than the raw water that comes from other water systems. They have noticed that the children don’t have diarrhea as often as before, so this program is having a great impact on the entire community.  

In January SHI also got the results of the water analysis the was done last year at the beginning of December. In the featured photos, you will see some of the CAPS members, MINSA (Health Department), and other leaders from each community that came to the Fred Strohbehn Training Center to learn about the status of the quality of their drinking water.

Self-Help staff is also planning to meet with the mayor from San Miguelito to discuss outreach. With her guidance SHI can reach more communities and people that are still thinking about getting the CTI-8 technology for their use. It may take some time for us to do so but our next goal is to work along with the mayor of each municipality, as some CAPS don’t have the technology due to the lack of money. If they get monetary support from their mayors, it may be easier for them to convince themselves that the program is good for them. So far some of them are questioning it, as they don’t want to pay for something that may not be good for them.

Your support has provided these communities with an opportunity to take ownership over their town's water quality and impove the health of their families and neighbors. Thank you for your generous donation.

Training and presentations at training center
Training and presentations at training center
CAPS members from Cruz Verde
CAPS members from Cruz Verde
Hygentist Carlos learning about new technology
Hygentist Carlos learning about new technology

Links:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Self-Help International

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Self-Help International on GreatNonProfits.org.