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...
Mar 6, 2012

The Confession of a Husband

Confession of a Husband

“I am an indirect beneficiary of your program,” confessed Antwi, husband of Akosua. “And I will be forever grateful!”  This was the happy confession Self Help staff heard from Antwi when visiting Worapong, Ghana last December.

 Antwi’s wife, Akosua, is on her third micro-credit loan from Self Help. She sells kose, a popular kind of doughnut prepared from cowpea and usually eaten in the morning with porridge. Akosua reports the loans have helped her start-up and expand her cocoa farm and pay for improvements to her food vending business. “The loans have  indirectly helped my entire family,” says Akosua.

 Akosua invested some of her micro-credit loan profits in her husband’s firewood business. According to Antwi, the couple is anticipating a profit this year. The funds helped buy a chainsaw which, in turn, allows Antwi to cut more wood, enabling him to produce and sell more lumber. “We will be able to build a new house for our family this year,” says Antwi.

Antwi is so appreciative of Self Help’s micro-credit loan program that he has occasionally made the 20 mile trek to Kumasi to make the loan payment for his wife.

 Worapong is a small farming community located outside of Kumasi. Except for the elementary and Jr. High schools, the village is very primitive with no electricity or running water.

 Being able to produce and sell firewood and kose in the village benefits the entire community. 


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Feb 13, 2012

Planning and Research Underway

Planning and Research Underway.

Excitement is building as Self Help International staff in both, Iowa and Ghana, West Africa hammer out details for the new training center.  “There are many fine points that take time and consideration”, says Merry Fredrick, Self Help Director.  Finalizing legal paperwork, researching appropriate training materials, fine tuning our operational budget are just a few of the tasks currently underway.  

In addition, many of the farmers who will be trained at the center have low reading skills or are illiterate.  Consideration must be given to the most effective training materials for this population. The staff is looking into more visual aids and hands-on learning equipment. 

“Some of the expenses we are looking at right now involve instructional materials including easels, erase boards, flip charts, etc., ” says Fredrick. Other items on our wish list include:

•             Office Partitions

•             Poster Board Stands

•             Chalkboard

•             Chalk

•             Dry Erase Markers

According to Fredrick, when this facility is built, young adults will finally have an opportunity to become skilled at raising animals, bee keeping and mushroom production -  reducing the migration  young adults to the cities.  More importantly, it will train young people in practical skills enabling them to support their families and contribute to the community.


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Jan 31, 2012

Kenlin's Transformation

Kenlin’s Transformation

Kenlin’s struggle began at inception. Her young mother, 16 year old Epifania Palacios, was physically handicapped from a cerebral stroke she suffered as a child.  When Kenlin Carolina Izaguirrre Palacios entered the world on Sept. 11, 2009, she was under weight and at a disadvantage because of the limited access her mother had to the vitamins and nutrition she desperately needed.

Her mother heard about Self Help International’s nutrition project in a daycare center not far from their farm. So, at 6 months old and in precarious health due to malnutrition, Kenlin and her mother traveled to for medical advice and vitamins. Kenlin was underweight at 13 pounds,

Her mom’s physical disabilities made the journey to Cico especially challenging, but, according to the staff, she persevered. Her daughter became visibly stronger and healthier, and with-in six months Kenlin had gained seven pounds.

Then Kenlin fell ill with an intestinal infection that made her weak and unable to eat so her mother stopped taking her to Cico.  Kenlin recovered from this setback in her life, but her  weight plummeted. Mother and daughter began the daily trek again for the vitamin and supplement regime and again, Kenlin began to thrive.

By the time Kenlin was 21/2 she weighed a healthy 25 pounds. According to the daycare staff, Kenlin’s parents are very happy their daughter is doing so well.


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