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 4, 2014

Self-Help loans transform Sarah's life

Sarah and her husband with tricycle
Sarah and her husband with tricycle

Sarah  is a 38-year-old woman who lives in Nkawie Panin, a farming community in rural Ghana. She is married and has four children, three of whom are in school.

Up until 2009, Sarah was working as a petty trader and made very little money from her work. She sold fresh produce, such as cassava, plantains, tomatoes, and onions, in low quantities. She bought the produce from a nearby market, about half a kilometre from her house. Prices at this market were higher than those at other, larger markets, which were further away from her home, but she could not afford transportation to larger markets and farms. As a result, her business was generating very little income for Sarah and her family.

In 2009, Sarah applied for a microcredit loan from Self-Help International, hoping it would help her grow her business and increase her family's income.

That year, Sarah received a $25 microcredit loan from Self-Help International, which allowed her to start trading at a small table. She continued to sell food and grow her business, and by 2011, she had expanded her table into a 10x10x8 foot wooden structure, with a refrigerator and a television.

She now has a greater variety of items in her inventory, including canned foods, milk, cooking oil, pasta and soap.

In 2013, she purchased a tricycle so she could move produce from farms to markets. Sarah's husband operates the tricycle, transporting goods for Sarah's business, and also transporting goods for others for a fee. He also is a managing partner in Sarah's business and operates the shop from time to time when Sarah goes into town to purchase goods. Her children also help run the shop when Sarah is preparing meals for the family.

Sarah tells Self-Help International that her secret is hard work and trustworthiness. She is grateful to Self-Help International, especially the microcredit loan program for women.

Thank you for your continued support of SHI's Women's Micro-Credit Program. Because of your generosity, Sarah, and many women like her, have found great success.

Sarah's original shop in 2009
The new store built in January 2014
The new store built in January 2014


Feb 18, 2014

San Carlos citizens benefit from clean water

Chlorinator Installation
Chlorinator Installation

Morrillo is a small community of about 200 people, located in the municipality of San Carlos on the northeast shore of Lake Nicaragua. The village is located about 34 km by road from the county seat.

In October 2012 a technical presentation and installation of a CTI-8 water chlorinator was performed, and since then, the community has disinfected drinking water, free of pathogenic microorganisms. SHI staff has paid a monthly visit to San Carlos for the last four months. Self-Help has met with members of the Water and Sanitation department, who have been trained and have trained others in the use of the CTI-8. Trained leaders and responsible staff supplied the Chlorine Tablets and have supervised the operation of the CTI-8 chlorinator with the accompaniment of the community leaders.

The people of San Carlos have benefitted greatly from this water system. They say that they are pleased with the results of the health of their families and are grateful to Self-Help International for bringing this technology to their community.

The photos above and below show the exhibition and installation of the CTI-8 in the water storage tank for the population of Morrillo.

In December 2013, together with Ministry of Health, SHI conducted a course in each of the CAPS towns of San Carlos. To sample water quality well water was tested, which is the main source of supply for the community, and residual chlorine was monitored in the water storage tank and the network of household consumption. The results are:

  • Membrane No. 1 (center plate) with water from the well, with 15 points positive bacteria present
  • Membrane No. 2 (left plate) with water from the storage tank and Membrane No. 3 (right plate) with water from the household network, taken from the house of Don. Efren Urbina. Both samples are free of bacteria.

Thank you for your kindness and support. Your help has brought clean water to San Carlos and many other communities like it.

Chlorinator demonstration
Chlorinator demonstration


Feb 4, 2014

Angelica provides for family

Angelica, far left, holding her daughter.
Angelica, far left, holding her daughter.

Angélica is 23-years-old and lives in Quinta Lidia. She and her husband are the proud parents of a  3-year-old little girl. They are both in the business of raising and selling pigs. The family does not have their own property, so they keep the pigs on Gustavo’s mother’s farm, so the three of them are in the pig business together.

Angélica received her first loan of $50 in April 2012 and paid it back by August of the same year. She used the loan to purchase food for the pigs. In the same month she received her second loan of $75, to be used for the same purpose, and she paid it back in February 2013.

Right now the family is not taking out more loans because Angélica just gave birth to her second child and they didn’t want to have any debts as they are unsure how everything will go. They hope that as soon as her second child gets bigger they can ask for another loan in order to grow their the pig-raising business.

Angélica, her husband and mother-in-law said that the loan given to them has helped a lot in purchasing more food to keep their pigs big and healthy, allowing them to make a better profit.

Because of your generosity, Angélica and other women in Nicaragua are able to purchase the supplies they need to grow their businesses and support their families. Thank you for your support and donations to Self-Help International.

Some of the pigs Angelica
Some of the pigs Angelica's family raises


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