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...
May 3, 2013

The many successes of Petronila

Petronila Chavez Toledo
Petronila Chavez Toledo

Petronila Chavez Toledo is 43-years-old. She is from Carazo, but around 20 years ago she moved to Melchorita where she lives near the primary school. Petronila has three children - one boy and two girls - all in high school. Her husband, Víctor José Chavez, is a farmer and harvests corn, watermelon and beans.

Petronila got her first loan from Self-Help International in December 2009 for $150. She used the loan to purchase the basic supplies and materials needed to bake bread. In 2012 she received a second loan of $100. She used the funds to purchase limes, corn, beans, eggs, plantain, bananas and more to sell in San Carlos every Thursday and Friday which are good business days in the city.

Petronila paid her loan in the same year and she was able to secure her third loan of $127. This money helped her husband purchase proper supplies used to harvest one quarter of a Manzana of watermelon. A manzana is a Central American unit of area. One Manzana equals 1.68 acres. When the crop was ready, Petronila took the watermelon to San Carlos to sell. The watermelon sales were very successful and allowed her to pay the third loan almost immediately.

In March 2013 she got her fourth loan of $130 dollars and this money was used for the restoration of her oven. See the photos of her baking bread in the oven both before and after it had been restored.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated. It helps women like Petronila grow their businesses and help to support their families. Thank you for being a part of Petronila's story.

Petronila's over before restoration
Petronila Chavez Toledo
Petronila Chavez Toledo
Petronila's oven after restoration


Apr 22, 2013

See how Kobby is thriving

Kobby is thriving!
Kobby is thriving!

When Kobby was about 2-years-old he lost both parents. His grandmother, in her 70s and living in Worapong, took responsibility of raising him.

The Self-Help International staff knows Kobby's grandmother who is in the micro-credit program. Realizing her constraints due to age and the great needs of Kobby who appeared undernourished, Self-Help staff members felt they should extend assistance to her plight by providing Quality Protein Maize porridge and other nutrients. As you can see from the photo, Kobby, now three-and-a-half, is thriving and his grandmother is extremely grateful for the assistance to keep her grandson healthy.

On a normal basis our feeding program benefits groups of children, but in some cases when children are found in extreme conditions, Self-Help International will offer one-on-one assistance.

Self-Help was certain our donors through Global Giving would understand this unique situation. It is because of your endless support that we are able to help children like Kobby.

Kobby before Self-Help International
Kobby before Self-Help International's assistance.


Mar 7, 2013

Education for Akosua's kids

Akosua's pottery

Akosua Ehu is the leader of a small group, but the size of her group does not adversely influence their ability to be successful in various ventures including pottery making and large scale farming. With only three other women in Akosua's group, many might assume they have had little influence in their community but surely her seven kids would have to disagree. In the last eight years, Akosua has taken out 14 loans to increase her inventory of clay for her pottery business but more importantly, to pay for her children's school fees. 

"With the loans, I have been able to send some of my kids to learn various apprenticeship trades," said Akosua.

With many of her kids now working or taking apprenticeships, Akosua has decided to put more resources into expanding her business. She has the contacts already as her business has been around for a long time but she has been unable to buy in large quantities and keep costs down.

Her goal is to expand her business by purchasing larger quantities of firewood and clay to produce more pottery to sell at the nearby markets. She is not interested in another type of business or training because she says "[Pottery making and selling] has more potential if well developed."

Over the past eight years as she has expanded her business, she has continually recognized how to further expand and stay on top of her expenses to continue earning money to pay for her children's school fees.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated. It helps women like Akosua grow their businesses and in turn keep their children in school.


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