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.
Sep 2, 2013

Women build or extend their home through SHG loans

Gcinisephi and her children outside her new house
Gcinisephi and her children outside her new house

The average household size for women who are a member of a Self-help Group (SHG) in South Africa is 6-7 people. Some households have more than ten members and are multi-generational with grandmother, mother and children living together. In many cases, there are only 2-3 rooms in their home when they initially join an SHG, which are used for living and sleeping and cooking.

However, more and more SHG members are taking a loan to build an extra room in their home or to renovate their home (roof or window repairs or strengthening walls). Some SHGs really focus on this and members agree to pay a second amount besides their weekly SHG saving of R2.00 ($0.20) – from as much as R20 ($2) up to R100 ($10) can be saved each month by every SHG member towards home loans. Each month one or two members will receive a larger amount of R500 ($50) or even R1,000 ($100); and this continues month after month until all members have received a home loan to build or renovate as they wish. Often SHG members assist that person to physically build or renovate her home.

In some communities, people are now talking and are excited about “SHG houses”, built by SHG members; these women are no longer waiting for years to receive an “RDP house” from the government, but are being active in using SHG loans to build and extend in whatever ways that they like.

Gcinisephi from Inhlanzeko SHG, in KwaZulu-Natal province, receives two child support grants (R290/$29 each per month) and she is staying with her husband who is unemployed. She loaned R300 from her group in early 2013 to meet travel costs in order to find work at a neighbouring farm cutting grass for extra income for her household and to be able to make her loan repayments. Gcinicephi also had a dream of building a rondavel and so in March 2013 she requested a loan of R500 from her group which she used to pay someone for thatching and to purchase wood. She then built the house herself with the help of her SHG members. Her husband told her that he was so proud of her. After completing the room she was so happy and said that now she will be able to be visited by her relatives. She has previously loaned from her group for school uniforms for her children, food, transport and health costs. She says she has learnt that she can do things for herself.

Masibiya Mthimkhulu, a member of Sakhisizwe SHG, in KwaZulu-Natal province, is a widow who stayed with seven adult family members and five children in a four-roomed house. She desperately wanted to build a house for her family as the one she stayed in was not only small for the number of people living with her but was also full of cracks as it was old. She started loaning money from the group to buy cement and sand to make bricks. Once she had enough bricks for building, she then loaned for more building material and someone to build for her. Today she is the proud owner of a new two-room house, which also has a bath-room, next to her old house. Her daughter expressed how frustrating it was with everyone packed in the other old house saying, “Now we have a new house and a bigger space as we still use the old house too”.

Many thanks to all our donors, we appreciate your support. Sinamandla continues to work towards reaching its fundraising targets on GlobalGiving so please consider making a donation in 2013 before year-end in order to help Sinamandla assist thousands of vulnerable women in poor communities to become an SHG member. Please do think of any family member or friends who would be interested in the work of Sinamandla through its Self-help Groups and do forward them our website link.

MaSibiya
MaSibiya's new house built from several SHG loans
May 31, 2013

SHGs initiate egg-laying income-generating project

Egg-citing news from Masime CLA in Eastern Cape
Egg-citing news from Masime CLA in Eastern Cape

The Self-help Group (SHG) Project encourages women to save weekly and loan monthly from their group fund, especially to assist them to start or expand their own small business or income-generating activities. Thousands of
women across five provinces in South Africa are engaged in these activities every month in 2013.

Dozens of SHGs also have their own group income-generating activities; and even some SHG Clusters, called a Cluster level Association (CLA), also initiate and manage larger income-generating activities on behalf of and with many SHGs. Masime CLA, formed by Angus Gillis Foundation (AGF), a Sinamandla partner based in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, launched their egg-laying project about nine months ago. This initiative is made up of 10 SHGs, representing over 150 women - most of the groups have their own group income-generating projects such as a bakery, broiler chicken projects, soap-making and small scale buying and selling, as well as community development initiatives including two ‘Safe Parks’ or non-formal childcare centres.

The aim of the Masime CLA egg-laying project is to support their member SHGs and to provide a source of larger loans for establishing and expanding SHG small businesses. This CLA has secured a weekly order of 150 eggs from the local secondary school and hundreds of their eggs are selling well locally. In recognition of what the CLA had already
achieved, AGF was able to secure funding to contribute towards the costs of training, basic cage materials, feed and the first 100 hens. After 4 months, over R8 000 profit had been made through the project.

In 2013, Sinamandla is working with 11 partnes in 5 provinces within South Africa. Sinamandla is positively impacting almost 7,000 rural women in 450 SHGs and over 40,000 household members are benefitting by having their mother or grandmother as an SHG member. During 2012, partners worked with SHGs who had made over 35,000 loans to their members worth around R6 million.

Many thanks to all our donors, we appreciate your support. Sinamandla continues to work towards reaching its fundraising targets on GlobalGiving so please consider making another donation in 2013 in order to help Sinamandla assist thousands of vulnerable women in poor communities. Please do think of any family member or friend who would be interested in the work of Sinamandla through its Self-help Groups and do forward them our website link.

Eggs are sold locally and supplied to a school
Eggs are sold locally and supplied to a school
Mar 4, 2013

Recognition of the SHG Programme by KZN government

SHG women outside KZN parliament
SHG women outside KZN parliament

Sinamandla, and it’s implementing Self-help Group (SHG) partners, have been trying to work with government departments locally, provincially and nationally over the past decade to show them the effectiveness of the SHG approach to alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas. The Department of Social Development have shown interest at national and provincial levels. However, in 2012, there was great interest and exciting developments in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) from the Office of the Premier after the wife of the Premier visited several SHGs in Swayimani, formed by Zimele, a Sinamandla partner based in Pietermaritzburg.

On 12 December 2012, ten women from the SHG Clusters of the Zimele Programme attended the KZN provincial parliament, by the invitation of the KZN Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize. The women and Zimele staff were invited for the official announcement of a partnership between the Office of the Premier and Zimele - to expand their SHG Programme to all the eleven Districts of KZN during 2013-14.

This was a huge experience of honour for the rural women and for Zimele. It increased hope and confidence in the women as individuals and their collective efforts to bring change for themselves and their communities. The women who attended parliament say they now feel recognised, more confident and highly motivated to continue their work to confront obstacles in the struggle for better lives for themselves and their families and communities. Zimele and Sinamandla are very excited with this new partnership with the Office of the Premier and look forward to it unfolding.

Many thanks to all our donors, we appreciate your support. Sinamandla continues to work towards reaching its fundraising targets on GlobalGiving so please consider making another donation in 2013 in order to help Sinamandla assist thousands of vulnerable women in poor communities. Please do think of any family member or friend who would be interested in the work of Sinamandla through its Self-help Groups and do forward them our website link.

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