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...
Apr 13, 2011

Ghanaian Teens Give Back

The villages of Amanchia and Worapong, Ghana are sites where nearly 250 children ages 6 mos. to 6 years gather to attend preschools. As part of Self-Help’s children’s feeding program, each day the youngsters receive  a serving of  Quality Protein Maize (QPM) porridge with vitamins and minerals. This QPM porridge has greatly improved the health and well-being of these youngsters. Many children initially come to the school malnourished, with underweight bodies and dull minds.  Within a few months the transformation is remarkable, and moving to observe.  

 And now there is a new twist in the program that is both exciting and commendable. Junior high students from both of these villages have taken upon themselves  to learn good cultivation practices by growing their own QPM.   But it doesn’t stop there! The students have also decided to contribute a portion of their harvest to Self-Help’s feeding program!  We are thrilled by their generosity and concern for others. 

 Self-reliance, teaching the young to contribute to society, and improving youngsters’ lives makes us proud to be involved in these communities!

Mar 15, 2011

Agnes Jaka's Perseverance

Agnes with screw press
Agnes with screw press

Agnes Jaka, 70 is a farmer and palm oil producer living in Bomfa, Ghana. In 2007 Agnes decided to expand her farming to include animal husbandry. She saw this as an opportunity to further develop her farming practices and add another source of income.

In February of 2008 Self-Help trained Agnes on animal care and gave her a loan of 140 cedis (US$127.30). Agnes purchased 2 female sheep and a ram. Each female gave birth to a lamb. Agnes was excited to see the progress her farm was quickly making. Unfortunately illness struck in 2009 and only the ram survived. Agnes had no choice but to sell the ram in order to pay off her loan. She was determined to get back on her feet and find success.

In 2010 Self-Help granted Agnes a loan to buy a screw press to improve her palm oil processing. The screw press has increased her production, decreased processing time, and allowed her to rent the equipment to other farmers. This success has allowed Agnes to pay off her screw press a month ahead of time. She is grateful to Self-Help for a new opportunity. Agnes said, “Given the opportunity, I would like to receive a loan to buy a digester so I can stop using mortar and pestle which is laborious and time consuming”.

Self-Help stands by its beneficiaries helping them to find success, new opportunities and sustainability.

Palm oil fruit before processing
Palm oil fruit before processing

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Feb 7, 2011

Soap Making Important Value Added Product

Olivia with soap ready for market
Olivia with soap ready for market

In January, the Self-Help executive director had the opportunity to watch the Nokware women in Ghana make soap from their palm oil.  It was a real treat that must be shared with all of you!  Enthusiasm and excitement among 30 women was contagious. They proudly demonstrated their new trade - making laundry soap from their palm oil - and with each step in the process their faces were beaming!

In review, screw presses (purchased through your gifts) squeeze more oil from palm fruits increasing the amount of oil extracted. In addition, presses reduce time the required to process oil.  Increased oil, harvest time for palm oil, and bumper crops can cause gluts in the market and low prices for palm oil.  Having the alternative  to make and sell laundry soap is proving to be a real asset by adding value to their oil and family incomes.

Currently the six groups have three molds.  Each mold makes 72 bars, usually sold within two days.  An average family in Ghana uses two bars of laundry soap each week, so the market is ever present.  The next step is to acquire funding to purchase more molds so that each women's groups have molds!  The women are so proud of their product and thank you for believing in them through your support!   

making soap
making soap

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