Sinamandla

Sinamandla's misison is to assist, capacitate and support local organisations to promote self-reliance as a central concept within development networks and practices in local communities. Sinamandla's vision is socially and economically empowered women within households made vulnerable by poverty, the impact of HIV and AIDS, gender inequalities and other societal injustices.
Dec 15, 2014

Moving ourselves out of poverty

Moving ourselves out of poverty - just released
Moving ourselves out of poverty - just released

Exciting news for Sinamandla is that the first ever book on the Self-Help Group (SHG) project in South Africa was printed in November and is available for purchase. Moving Ourselves out of Poverty reflects the good news of the SHG project and how it benefit thousands of women and their households. The book contains 200 stunning full colour photographs and dozens of stories and quotes from SHG members.

Please support Sinamandla by purchasing a copy for yourself or for a friend as a Christmas gift. The cost of the book is $30 which includes delivery to anywhere in the world - to order your copy email info@sinamandla.org.za

Oct 21, 2014

Collective action by SHG women for positive change

Launch of the first SHG Federation in South Africa
Launch of the first SHG Federation in South Africa

Currently in South Africa, over 15 000 women are members in 1 125 Self-help Groups (SHGs). In the SHG process, 7-10 SHGs are clustered into a Cluster Level Association (a CLA), usually within one year of formation. Each group sends 2-3 reps to the CLA. The CLA takes up the social, economic and political issues that are beyond the scope of individual SHGs.

After several years, a Federation (a cluster of 7-10 CLAs) can be formed in a large community, which involves setting up a seperate organisation in which each CLA is represented by three or more reps. It concentrates on issues which are of importance for the whole geographic area that it covers, in order to bring about positive change and development.

On 29 August 2014 the first SHG Federation was officially launched in South Africa with great excitement and anticipation in the community of Swayimane, KZN, with over 1 000 SHG members, guests and government departments attending. Intuthuko yo Mama, as the Federation is called, currently has 8 CLAs representing over 100 SHGS and over 1 200 SHG members. The Federation was formed by Zimele, a Sinamandla partner based in Pietermaritzburg.

Intuthuko yo Mama has ten sub-committees including Health, Safety and Security, Social Development, Children’s Education, Human Settlement, and Water and Forestry. The Federation will have a major focus on developing the economic empowerment of its members and the wider community.

“We are so happy. We feel like a woman who has been blessed with a baby,” said Mam’ Albertina, one of the Federation members. She thanked Zimele for all the training, mentorship and support. The women emphasised the importance of self-reliance and said they do not want to depend on government for everything. While they need government’s help with certain matters, they also want to be part of those who make a difference in the country and the economy.

The SHG project was started in Swayimane by Zimele in 2007. The Clusters that are members of the Federation have previously established 11 crèches that benefit over 300 pre-school children, a toy library that links with all the crèches, and a computer school that has benefited over 350 young people and adults to date.

Many thanks for your interest and support. Sinamandla continues to work towards reaching its fundraising targets on GlobalGiving so please consider making a new donation in 2014 in order to help Sinamandla promote the SHG project in South Africa and welcome in more vulnerable women in poor communities to new SHGs in the months ahead.

Sinamandla sends out a monthly E-newsletter, which you can subscribe to via the Sinamandla website and read more stories of SHG women. Please also do like us on Facebook at sinamandlaselfhelpgroup which is updated weekly.

SHG Federation logo
SHG Federation logo
Jul 22, 2014

An SHG member achieves her dream to become a nurse

Mamoketi of Itsuseng SHG is now a nurse
Mamoketi of Itsuseng SHG is now a nurse

By mid-June 2014, over 14 000 women were meeting weekly in around 950 Self-help Groups (SHG) in South Africa. The women range in age from their early twenties up to their seventies and eighties in some cases. Often young women in SHGs have dreams to improve their education and even study at tertiary level; many times they never get such an opportunity, mainly due to the high cost of tertiary studies. However, the Sinamandla staff were encouraged recently to meet one SHG member who had fulfilled her dream to study and become a nurse – and it was her SHG who helped her to achieve her dream.

Mamoketi, 27 years, is a member of Itsuseng SHG in Masakane, Mpumalanga, formed in 2009 by Ebenezer, a Sinamandla partner. She lives with her mother, father who is a pensioner, and her nephew. No-one is working in her home. Mamoketi passed her matric well but when she finished school her parents had no money for her to study at tertiary level. Eventually she joined her SHG in 2009.

In 2010 she found herself still without a job and her dreams of doing tertiary studies were not realised. So in 2011 Mamoketi approached her group members and asked them to loan her R15,000 so she could pay the deposit for a pre-nursing auxiliary course. Although her request was highly unusual, the group agreed to give her this huge loan, which she could repay over three years, and she enrolled to be trained as a nursing auxiliary in Johannesburg from 2011 – 2013.

 With the little money she generated herself, she managed to make monthly repayments of R500 per month to her group and her family relatives helped her to come up with the balance of R10,000 to pay towards her school fees.

 Mamoketi, above in her nursing uniform, says that in September 2014 she will be graduating and is looking forward to continuing further with her nursing studies in 2015. “My group has respect for me and we all get along so well, they are very proud that our SHG has produced a nurse; even other young members of my SHG have started thinking they also can pursue their studies. We are so thankful for the R2.00s that started us off.”

 Many thanks for your interest and support. Sinamandla continues to work towards reaching its fundraising targets on GlobalGiving so please consider making a new donation in 2014 in order to help Sinamandla promote the SHG project in South Africa and welcome in more vulnerable women in poor communities to new SHGs in the months ahead.

 Sinamandla sends out a monthly E-newsletter which you can subscribe to via our website and read more stories of SHG women. Please also do like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sinamandlaselfhelpgroup


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