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 batt...
Dec 4, 2014

Training Center includes youth in programs

Youth are given lessons in making funeral wreaths
Youth are given lessons in making funeral wreaths

Self-Help International is expanding its training program to include youth beneficiaries.
The Fred Strohbehn Training Center in Nicaragua is now involving children in training programs. The youth are children, nieces, nephews, and/or grandchildren of women beneficiaries in either the micro-credit program or participants in the training center program. Children can start learning useful skills for personal growth and to contribute economically to their families.
Thus far, 86 children have participated in the program, and Self-Help staff aims to involve 100 children by the end of the year.
To integrate children into the training, Self-Help is providing courses geared towards a younger audience. Recent participants were trained in leadership, reproductive health, sexual violence prevention, gardening, self-esteem, creativity in business, and athletic games so children can learn interact with youth from other communities.
In addition, Self-Help International provided courses to both women and children in piñata design and funeral wreaths for All Souls’ Day. Beneficiaries have benefitted from an increase in their variety of services and a growth in business and income.
In the most recent funeral wreath workshop, 32 women and 13 youth from the communities of Quinta Lidia, Santa Isabel, Laurel Galán, and Melchorita participated. The women and their children can earn up to 120 cordobas ($4.55) for each funeral wreath. Making and selling the wreaths in the local community is better for the women, and cheaper for the customers. It also saves in transportation costs.
Your support is helping children to learn new skills and contribute their family income. Thank you for your generosity.


Dec 2, 2014

Strength in unity: Kwaso group a shining example

Group members display savings books
Group members display savings books

The average Ghanaian is individualistic in nature; wants to do everything all by himself or herself and has little trust in partnership. According to many, this explains why Ghana has fewer industries capable of employing more than 50 people. Many indigenous Ghanaian industries have died with their originators as those around were never allowed to play the much needed sustainability roles.

Culturally, men are considered superior to women in Ghana and this greatly hinders their progress. In many cases women have to consult before they act and this somehow is backed by a Ghanaian proverb ‘sbaa t tuo a twene barima dan mu’, which translates ‘if a woman buys a gun it is the man who keeps it.’ To the detriment of building a better nation, this culture has killed many great ideas thought of by women. When women unite they conquer and move forward.

The Self-Help International (SHI) micro-credit program is helping to build and strengthen the sense of togetherness and culture of partnership among its more than 400 female beneficiaries. These women have built good homes, take care of their families and brought development to their communities.

Nokware Women’s group from Kwaso is one such group. In February 2007 numbering just five (5) they joined the SHI micro-credit program and by dint of hard work and unity their membership grew exponentially.

During the 2012 National Farmers’ Day celebration they were crowned the best women’s group in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal in Ashanti region of Ghana. They received a certificate, building materials, knapsack sprayer, machetes and rain boots. Though important, these items never quenched their thirst to break more barriers.

Kwaso Women’s group at the 2012 National Farmers’ Day

In 2013 they added cassava processing to their various income generating activities. The environment for the processing is quite difficult. The processing is done in the open and they are at the mercy of the weather and smoke. This notwithstanding, they produce one of the best gari in the municipality.

In a meeting with the executive director of SHI in March 2014, it became apparent that the way forward was for the group to relocate to pave way for shed construction and mechanization. The women made a promise to relocate for further development.

In September 2014, SHI learned that the women had met with the chief and elders and received at no cost, a parcel of land valued at 5,000 Ghanaian cedis ($1566). It is almost impossible for any single woman from the community to chalk this feat.

With this development, the group will process more cassava which will address a critical challenge facing Ghanaian farmers; lack of ready market for farm produce. More employment avenues shall be created, especially for the youth which will minimize crime rates in the community and the surrounding area.

Your support has helped the women of Kwaso group, and many like them, to expand their business and become more independent. Thank you for your generous donation.

Group members processing gari
Group members processing gari
Nov 25, 2014

Self-Help partners to provide clean water

Chlorinator installation at Isla Grande
Chlorinator installation at Isla Grande

Christian is in charge of the hygienic and security department for the orange company FRUTAN. He recently contacted Self-Help International (SHI) to obtain information about installing CTI-8 water chlorinators at several of FRUTAN’s orange farms.

Self-Help International staff asked Mr. Gonzalez how he had heard about this program and he answered that he was from northern Nicaragua where there are also CTI-8 water chlorinators installed. He also said his former employer installed the chlorinators and he considers them one of the best as CTI-8 chlorinators are easy to acquire and manage.

When Christian came to work in southeast Nicaragua he found out that the water FRUTAN employees were drinking was untreated. He asked the general manager about the poor water quality and the manager said he didn’t have any idea where to get the proper treatment for the water or where to go since their location is so far away from the city. Christian told the manager about Self-Help International and the CTI-8 water chlorinators. He explained to his manager the benefits of clean water to FRUTAN and its employees including the technical training provided to manage the equipment.

Not long after, Self-Help staff met with Christian to discuss the clean water program and its mission. With the help of SHI, FRUTAN made the plan to install water chlorinators at seven different locations. By the end of November, six of the seven chlorinators will have been installed bringing clean water to more than 1,500 more beneficiaries. Chlorinator locations include Lote, Melchora, Garita, Palo de Arco, and two in Isla Grande.

It is important that we work together to help provide clean water to the people of Nicaragua. Your generous donation has contributed to the installation of 40 total chlorinators providing clean water for more than 33,000 people. In addition, your support allows companies that care about their employees, like FRUTAN, to collaborate with Self-Help and ensure its employees have clean drinking water.

Chlorinator installation in Lote
Chlorinator installation in Lote
Chlorinator installation at Melchor
Chlorinator installation at Melchor
Installation at San Pancho
Installation at San Pancho



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