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...
Sep 15, 2015

Dum Spiro Spero-While there is life, there is hope

Samuel ensures Agnes gets to school daily
Samuel ensures Agnes gets to school daily

Agnes was born on September 7th, 2011, to Paul and Comfort of Beposo in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Paul and Comfort prayed earnestly for a first female child, Agnes was considered an answered prayer from God. Being the only female and the youngest of three children, her parents had a lot of hope in her.

This hope was short-lived. Paul tells SHI, at age three Agnes could hardly talk or walk properly. It was difficult for her to mingle with her peers. At one point, they suspected Agnes was deaf but weren’t able to access proper healthcare. The family began moving from one prayer camp to another. In Ghana, a prayer camp is where a group of people meet to pray for weeks and months to God for miracles to take place in their lives.

Finally, on February 4th 2015, Agnes enrolled at the Beposo Islamic Basic school where she is served breakfast prepared from Quality Protein Maize (QPM) every morning. She would go to school every morning staggering or being carried on the back of her elder brother, Samuel. It was very challenging at first but with support from the QPM team and their parents their prayers were answered.

Through continuous interactions with peers and regular protein intake, Agnes’s speech is much better. She recites poems and rhymes and she is no longer shy of peers. Though, she still walks with difficulty, there is improvement.

The Self-Help QPM team measures the weights and heights of beneficiary children quarterly to track impact. In April of 2015, Agnes weighed 28.5 pounds (13 kg) and was 32 inches tall. In August she weighed 32 pounds (14.5 kg), an increase of more than 10 percent of her body weight (3.5 pounds/1.5 kg), in just 4 months.  Her father refers to the physical improvements as ‘bonus’ in addition to her mental improvements.

In addition to supporting school feeding programs, the QPM team takes time to train parents and teachers about the importance of protein consumption to childhood brain development. The faith of Paul and Comfort in the production and utilization of QPM has increased. They no longer say “every maize is maize” but rather place premium on maize with high protein content. They are among twenty-three farmers who willingly offered to grow QPM to support the Beposo School Feeding Program in the Atwima Mponua District of Ghana.

Continuously supporting the feeding program will not only restore hope in the lives of people such as Agnes, but will also ensure the production and availability of food to feed the growing world population.

When you make a donation tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16th, it will be matched by 30 percent.  Starting at 8 a.m. CDT GlobalGiving is matching all donations made through globalgiving.org up to $1,000 per donor at 30%. There is $70,000 available in matching and we’re offering $6,000 in bonus awards! Matching will last until funds run out, so to earn the match aim to donate as close to 8 a.m. CDT as possible. Click the give now button below to improve the lives of children like Agnes and multiply the impact of your donation.

Agnes weighed 28.5 pounds in April, 2015
Agnes weighed 28.5 pounds in April, 2015
Agnes is healthier and more alert in August 2015
Agnes is healthier and more alert in August 2015
Paul with inputs to grow QPM for the school
Paul with inputs to grow QPM for the school

Links:

Aug 30, 2015

Life is easier when a little help comes our way

Ama & her nephew attend to a customer at her store
Ama & her nephew attend to a customer at her store

Ama is a forty-five year old single mother of three. In addition to caring for her own children, she has taken on the added responsibility of caring for her late sister’s four children.  Having observed how Self-Help’s micro-credit program had impacted on women in her community, Nkawie, she applied to join the program and has seen her life transformed.

Ama tells Self-Help that before joining the micro-credit program, she used to sell charcoal, Kenkey (a cornmeal product) and vegetables on her head as she trekked from one community to another. She made little or no profits at the end of the day and she could not invest any of the money she earned to expand her business since she had many mouths to feed in addition to paying the childrens’ school fees and medical bills. Ama regrets her inability to go to school which she attributes to the neglect of her polygamous father and the fact that she comes from a large family of eleven children of which she is the youngest. It has always been her dream to give to her children quality education and a descent accommodation; something she never had.

With training, micro-loans, hard work and perseverance, Ama was able to expand her business and now has a shop of her own in which she sells groceries and other items. Business is good: Ama consistently make a profit and the family’s finances have significantly improved. Her eldest son, Prince who is 27 years old is completing the final year of his Bachelor’s program at the University and her daughter, Agnes, who is 24 years old, has successfully completed nurses’ training college and about to be stationed at her first job. Ama’s youngest child is now in 4th grade.

With pride and joy, Ama is building a two-story house, a project many consider overly ambitious. She admits it is an uphill task but has a reason; by building upwards instead of outwards, she can save land and use the space as a foundation for her children to build on. “Wherever I get to, my children will someday continue,” she concludes. It is inspiring to learn that she is making these investments not only for herself but for the generations yet unborn.

Every little support given to women like Ama benefiting from the micro-credit program will certainly trickle down to benefit many generations and improve livelihoods of disadvantaged people today and for years to come. Thank you for your generosity in helping us help Ama and more women like her to make this difference for their children and grandchildren.

Sheltering her family: Ama
Sheltering her family: Ama's new home

Links:

Aug 12, 2015

Chlorinator Cleanses La Culebra

Miguel
Miguel's family stays healthier with clean water

Miguel and his wife Griselda live in a compact cement house in La Culebra, a rural village, home to just over one thousand people. In July of 2013, Miguel petitioned the people of La Culebra to install a CTI-8 water chlorination system after attending a purification demonstration presented by Self Help International employees. He promptly called a meeting amongst all 228 houses in the area, citing rampant acute diarrheal disease and other water-borne illnesses as dire concerns for the wellbeing of the entire community.

“We immediately held a meeting and voted on the purchase of the system… people were sick of being sick… they were sick of seeing their children sick”, he says sternly. His three children, ranging from ages 4 to 10, shoot marbles on the floor of the house as he continues, pausing between thoughts. “We have all had diarrhea and rash breakouts from drinking the impure water,” he states, gesturing to the children. “It was filthy… everyone’s children suffered the same symptoms… it was always worse for them than the adults”.

"Granos de piel por agua" is the local name for the rash contracted by ingesting or washing oneself with contaminated water. Affected areas can be local, or cover the entire body. Symptoms include itchiness and moderate pain – if irritated, the rash can lead to more serious infection. The ailments came as a result of fecal particles tainting La Culebra’s water supply. 

Self Help International’s Water Program Director, Orlando Montiel Salas, conducted a basic demonstration of contamination levels collecting water samples in petri dishes, then having samples analyzed in a nearby laboratory.The untreated sample that the community had been ingesting came back from the lab with 14 fecal cultures. Contamination levels between 10 and 100 are considered to be an extreme health risk. Each dot in the petri dish (pictured in attachment) is a thriving colony of fecal bacteria from La Culebra’s initially non-chlorinated water source.

After viewing the fecal content of the crude water, over 90% of the community immediately voted in favor of the purchase of the CTI-8 system, recognizing the effectiveness and the low cost of production and maintenance. Since the assembly, Miguel has become the leader of “Comité de Agua Potable y Saneamiento” (CAPS) in La Culebra, a volunteer group dedicated to ensuring basic levels of local water sanitation. He says that a variety of people within the community have similarly volunteered to clean and maintain the purification system. “Every month of purified water now costs each household only 30 Cordobas [roughly USD $1]… other systems are more expensive and the water tastes strange”.

While Miguel speaks fervently and fluidly on the functions of the CTI-8 system, as well as the duties of CAPS members, his wife Griselda is more interested in discussing how her life, and the lives of her children, have been changed as a result of Self Help International’s water purification initiative. Bobbing her youngest son on her lap, she states, “We knew it [water chlorination] was necessary, but we did not think we could afford it until Self Help came for the demonstration… I feel safe knowing my children don’t worry about getting sick from drinking or washing themselves. It has been one and a half years since the installation; it has been one and a half years of comfort”

Recently, Miguel and Griselda have received increasing amounts of positive feedback and interest from visitors in neighboring communities. With a proud grin, Griselda states, “A teacher I work with travels all the time and says the water in La Culebra is the best in the region!” Miguel nods his head in agreement, explaining that men from surrounding villages have begun asking about La Culebra’s water, “Word of mouth travels quickly here, very quickly. When the CTI-8 is this efficient and this cheap, why wouldn’t you want it?” Affordable access to potable water is often taken for granted amongst more developed populaces, but the people of La Culebra still celebrate this recent innovation. Miguel concludes very simply, “It has changed our lives and bettered our community”.

Miguel holds up contaminated crude water in 2013
Miguel holds up contaminated crude water in 2013
Granos de piel por agua: rash from unclean water
Granos de piel por agua: rash from unclean water

Links:


Attachments:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $50
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $90
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $200
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $90
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $200
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Self-Help International

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Self-Help International on GreatNonProfits.org.