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...
Aug 8, 2012

Significant Progress - Project Underway

Future site of the training center
Future site of the training center

Self-Help International (SHI) is setting its sights high in Ghana in an effort to reduce the migration of young farmers into its overpopulated cities. All farmers grow maize, however, the two harvests each year usually are not enough to sustain a family’s livelihood throughout the year. As a result, many young farmers are migrating in hopes of finding work to increase income. Interviews with young farmers indicate that while most of them prefer to remain on the farm, the lack of opportunities to generate additional income force them to make such decisions.

Self-Help intends to change the situation by establishing a training center where young farmers will be trained how to raise poultry, small animals, and produce mushrooms and honey to sell at the local markets.   

During the July visit, Executive Director, Merry Fredrick and Country Director, Benjamin Kusi, met with the Nkwakrum Chief who officially granted one acre of land in his village for the construction of the center.  A beautiful field of corn covered the one-acre plot and upon harvest in August, the land will be turned into a construction site for the new training center. In each session, 35 farmers will be trained how to raise, produce, and sell a variety of animals and other products. 

During the first year farmers will be trained in poultry, rabbit and mushroom production. Each training cycle requires attendance for no less than one production cycle in order to fully understand the demands of each animal or product. Upon successful completion of the training, each farmer receives a certificate and selects which of the three enterprises he or she wishes to pursue.  Self-Help will provide low-interest loans for each farmer to begin his or her own production.  

A committee of 11 individuals from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Kwadaso Agriculture College are deeply involved in the project design with the SHI staff.  The collaborative effort is second-to-none and their enthusiasm is apparent. Committee members explained that they are impressed by the high expectations and demands for each trainee.  Furthermore, the ability of farmers to receive a loan upon completion of training to start their own enterprise is unprecedented. Adding this component greatly raises the success rate for each trainee.  The training center is taking Self-Help’s work to a new, exciting level and provides a challenge we look forward to overcoming.

Anyone who wishes to support a young adult farmer in training program can do so for $100.  His or her progress, along with photos, will be sent directly to you so that you can follow your beneficiary’s journey to self-sufficiency. Lets work together to increase farmers’ production of essential animals and products while slowing migration to cities.

Chiefs who donated the land for the center
Chiefs who donated the land for the center
Meeting in preparation for the center opening
Meeting in preparation for the center opening
Jul 24, 2012

Upwards and Outwards: Abraham's Evident Progress

Abraham 2012
Abraham 2012

Having never been to Ghana before, I was absorbing every conversation, every meeting, and every experience at the various sites we visited. Among those experiences are hours and hours of stories to tell, pictures to share, and videos to replay. Playing soccer on dirt roads with kids after school, butchering the little Twi'i I knew and eating local fruits with beneficiaries in their villages became common practice. One memory that is especially dear to me was when I met Abraham and his mother during one of our meetings outside of Kobriti. 

I was shown a picture of Abraham when he was young and a bit malnourished. His mother had just started her first loan and over the next two years, she invested in her business and it paid off! She has expanded her business and Abraham has surely benefited from the loans as well. He had been eating QPM-enriched porrige and grew a significant amount. Shy, yet full of energy and playful with his mother, Abraham will start school soon and coincidently be one of the tallest kids in his class. Our executive director, Merry, did not recognize him until she was told who he was. As his mother carried chairs out of our meeting area, Abraham easily walked to the car with a large bowl full of palm fruit balanced on his head. He was happy to hand us mangoes from the back of the truck, initiative that was not taken last year when he was much shyer and not nearly as strong. At his young age, he is very healthy and strong, obvious signs that the QPM porridge has positively-affected his growth. 

Abraham 2010
Abraham 2010
Growing Up
Growing Up


Jun 5, 2012

Akousa Sends her son to School

Akosua Sends Her Son to

Akosua Pokua, a busy, 42-year-old mother of three boys and
one girl, is very appreciative of Self-Help International’s micro credit loans.

Akosua and her family live in Nkawie, a small farming town in
Ghana. In 2009 Akousa used her first microcredit loan to purchase sheep to
start a small trading business. SHI reports her loan repayment record is so
consistent she has continued to take out SHI micro credit loans each year

Akosua’s eldest son has decided he wants to attend a Teacher
Training College, a school requiring a steep tuition. Proceeds from her small
business enabled Akosua to build a 3-room home for her family.  Now that extra money is needed for her son,
she is able to rent out one of her rooms. Happily Akousa reports that rent from
the room, combined with her savings, is enough to send her son to college. “We
are able to feed the family and send my son to school.  I am very appreciative of Self-Help’s


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