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...
Nov 7, 2012

Steady Progress at Ghana Training Center

Training Center
Training Center

Steady progress continues with the construction of the young adult farmers’ training center in a rural community outside of Kumasi, Ghana. 

The building will provide classroom space for 25 trainees who will receive both instruction and hands on experience beginning with chicken and turkey production. Rabbit production will be introduced later in the year. 

The Ghana Self-Help staff along with area agricultural professors are finishing the training curriculum, appropriate for grass roots farm men and women.   

Excitement is in the air as Self-Help gets closer to initiating this new program designed to provide new skills and means to increase income beyond crop production.  New options allow young families to increase income and remain on the farm. Your support will help us to furnish the classroom so that we are able to begin instruction in early 2013. 

Training Center Classroom and Office
Training Center Classroom and Office

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Oct 23, 2012

SHI QPM Program chalks another success

Charles July 27 - Before
Charles July 27 - Before

Early this summer, while the Self-Help staff was visiting the women at Ohene Nkwanta for its micro-credit program, they noticed a very malnourished child sitting beside his mother, Janet. His stomach was terribly distended, with frail arms and legs. Immediately following the meeting, project officer, Benjamin, met with the mother to learn more about the family. 

Three-year-old Charles is one of four children. Janet explained that Self-Help loans have been a Godsend as she is better able to provide for her children. At the time, however, Charles’ malnourishment was beyond what she was capable of improving. Self-Help stepped in to provide the mother with QPM (quality protein maize) porridge and vitamins for Charles, in an effort to alleviate his health issues. Self-Help also provided Janet with a loan so that she could purchase health insurance for the entire family.

As you can see from the photos, on July 27, before Charles was given porridge and vitamins, he faced serious health problems. The second photo taken only one month later, August 31, already shows a transformation taking place!  More support is needed for Charles, but he is improving, and we will keep track and share with you his progress.

Thank you so much for caring for children like Charles. The vitamins are truly making a difference!

Charles Aug. 31 - After
Charles Aug. 31 - After
Sep 5, 2012

More Women in Ghana Acquire Cell Phones

Farmer utilizing her cell phone
Farmer utilizing her cell phone

Beposo is a farming community in rural Ghana. It has no electricity but thankfully has a borehole for water. In 2011, nine women from this community benefited from Self-Help International’s micro credit program, receiving loans for petty trading and agro processing.

After two loans the beneficiaries saw positive changes in their lives, the most notable being the purchase of cell phones by four women.  In Ghana, cell phones can be purchased for $20-25.  The number of beneficiaries using cell phones has more than doubled in the past couple of years, with approximately 3 in 5 beneficiaries now using the devices.

  1. The use of cell phones is common among beneficiaries that specialize in trading because of the enhanced communication they provide with important trading partners. Without cell phones  they could travel several kilometres. without meeting their customers. Cell phones have provided them with the knowledge of when their trading partners will be available, saving precious time and energy while making their business more efficient.

The Women Behind the Phones

Some of the cell phones look attractive and expensive, but are still reasonable to purchase, as in the case of Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a hairdresser who has eyes for beautiful things and is doing well with her loans.

In front of Elizabeth are items for her hair dressing business such as wigs, hair cream and rollers. She tells Self-Help the phone makes it easier to schedule appointments with her clients. She tells clients, “…my cell phone number is written in front of my door...in case I am in the next village you just buzz me…” Instead of missing appointments, Elizabeth can communicate with her clients to let them know her whereabouts. Her cell phone can provide the vital link she needs to her clients, enabling her business to grow.

Cell phones aren’t just for trading businesses and emergencies, for Maame Adwoa her phone is a lifeline to her daughter who is in a teacher training college in the city. Maame is a farmer, whose participation in the micro credit program has improved her business, making it possible to send her children to a good school in the city.

The Challenge

There is no electricity in most villages, so how do they charge the batteries on their new cell phones without missing business calls? When batteries run down the phones are sent to nearby community with electricity, which will charge the phone for the fee of 50p (26 cents). Sometimes a phone sent in to be charges is either stolen or swapped. The search for a solution is still continuing. 

Hair Dresser contacting customers
Hair Dresser contacting customers
Mother contacting her daughter at boarding school
Mother contacting her daughter at boarding school

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