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 26, 2014

Knowledge, training increase project participation

Brochures distributed to promote water program
Brochures distributed to promote water program

In the last four months, Self-Help International (SHI) staff have visited 45 communities all from the Río San Juan area to promote and present information on CTI-8 chlorinator installation, maintenance and the benefits of clean water.

In an effort to share information, SHI staff members are distributing informational brochures to people in the communities they visit. The brochures provide technical information on the systems as well as testimony from beneficiaries in communities where chlorinators are already in use. Brochures from the Nicaragua Ministry of Health are also being distributed. These brochures describe illnesses that come from drinking contaminated, untreated water.

During recent visits, staff has provided 195 chlorinator tablets to community water committees to be used in the chlorinator systems. Three new chlorinators were installed, one each in the communities of El Tule municipality of San Miguelito, Las Bellezas a municipality of Morrito, and Papaturro municipality of San Carlos. These newly installed systems will provide clean water to 1,785 people.

Including new installations, Self-Help’s clean water program now benefits 30,063 people. That’s is an increase in 1,785 people since April 2014. Beneficiaries of the clean water program tell Self-Help staff that they are happy to have safe water to drink. They also said they are no longer concerned about illnesses and parasites that come with drinking raw water.

Your support has provided these communities with the knowledge and training to improve the quality of water therefore improving the quality of life. Thank you for your generous donation.

Las Bellezas water committee receives training
Las Bellezas water committee receives training
Chlorinator installation in Papaturro
Chlorinator installation in Papaturro

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Aug 1, 2014

Hands-on training for youth

Studentsof St. Peter
Studentsof St. Peter's Jr. High prepare compost

Things I hear I forget. Things I see I remember. Things I do I understand.

In May 2014 during the 53rd Diocesan Synod of the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church in Ghana, the Right Reverend Professor Osei Safo-Kantanka, Methodist Bishop of the Kumasi Diocese, added his voice to calls for Ghana to focus on hands-on training for the youth.

He reiterated “the country cannot develop if we do not develop our hands-on technical and vocational education.” He advocates for scholarships to be given to students pursuing technical and vocational education.

The Ghanaian system of education coupled with limited financial resources has compelled many, especially public schools to rely heavily on text books for teaching and learning. Teaching of subjects such as information and computer technology, engineering, agricultural science are about 70 percent textbook-based with limited opportunities for practice. This has adverse effects on the quality of Ghanaian graduates; they hardly fit into the job market let alone being prepared to start their own small operation. This has contributed to an unemployment rate of more than 40 percent among graduates and low gross domestic product.

From afar the situation looks hopeless but it is never too late to make amends. People trained at the Frances Mueller and Virginia Lageschulte Training Center (FMVLTC) are proving that people understand better and are more willing to practice when given hands-on training.

Kofi is 28 years old and a pupil teacher. In 2013, in his quest to earn higher income, he enrolled at the University College of Education in Kumasi-Ghana but withdrew due to financial challenges. He enrolled at the FMVLTC in June 2014 and is currently raising rabbits. He now has a reliable supply of protein for his family and additional income to continue his education.

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Junior High School at Toase received training at the center in March 2014. After the training the headmistress, Mrs. Mary Magdalene Wompakeah, was more convinced than ever before of the need for hands-on training and won the confidence of the PTA for the school to continue practical education at the center. Currently, the school is embarking on mushroom production in collaboration with FMVLTC. The children are enthused about the fact that mushroom production is well within their capabilities.

Traditionally, Ghana’s supply of mushrooms have come from the wild but this source has witnessed a sharp decline in recent times and the need to find a reliable supply is urgent. Mushrooms, snails, and cocoyam, though seasonal, used to be in abundance a decade ago but have witnessed population decline due to climatic changes and use of agro-chemicals which in many cases are wrongfully applied due to inadequate hands-on training in their application. With proper training there is great opportunity for students pursing mushroom cultivation today.

Because of your support many young students have the opportunity to receive hands-on training and acquire new, useful skills through the Frances Mueller and Virginia Lageschulte Training Center. Like Kofi, they can put their new skills to use to better provide for their families future. Thank you for your generous donation.

Rt. Rev. Prof Osei Safo Kantanka
Rt. Rev. Prof Osei Safo Kantanka
Kofi with the rabbits he is raising.
Kofi with the rabbits he is raising.

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Jul 31, 2014

Training and strategy help grow Martha's business

Martha selling her products at the local market
Martha selling her products at the local market

Beneficiary from El Espabel - Melchorita

Martha is a 61-year-old woman working with Self-Help’s micro-credit program. She and her husband, Alfredo, have seven children. Three of them are grown and have left the home. Four children, age nine to 21-years-old, are still living at home.

Martha uses her loan to purchase a variety of products such as corn, beans, avocados, eggs, zucchini, coconuts, and dairy products among others to sell for a profit at the local market in San Carlos.

Martha is also applying the training she and her children received from the micro-credit program to her business. The family is gardening and using an irrigation system to grow vegetables, hot peppers, papaya, passion fruits, and zucchini among others. Martha is saving money and time as she no longer needs to visit other communities to purchase these products. Instead, she is harvesting her own produce to sell fresh at the market. Martha also received Self-Help’s training on pickling vegetables and making jams and marmaldes. If in any case she can’t sell her fresh produce, she can add value to the unsold products by using them in marmalades, jellies or by pickling the vegetables. These products can also be sold at market for a profit.

In addition, Martha learned basic bookkeeping skills through Self-Help’s trainings. She now understands when she is making a profit, whereas before the training she didn’t keep records and know if she was earning money or losing money. Martha knows that she will expend about 600 cordobas, around $23, per week on the value of her products to be purchased. Plus she is including the expenses for her personal needs such as meals and transportation. This was not something she calculated into her expenses before. Now Martha can see the profit and with it she helps her husband with the upkeep on the house and contributes to their children’s education.

Martha said she is really thankful for Self-Help International and the donors for allowing her the opportunity to learn new skills and providing her with a strategy to grow personally as well as economically. She is pleased that her family has also learned to contribute to her business through caring for their garden and irrigation system.

Your support has provided Martha, and others like her, with the proper tools to grow her small business and include her family in its success. Thank you for your generous donation.

Martha and her daughter in their garden
Martha and her daughter in their garden

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