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...
Jul 13, 2015

Through training Adelaida learns new skills

Adelaida making Empacando papitas fritas
Adelaida making Empacando papitas fritas

Adelaida sells freshly cooked food from her home along with other work on the side for extra income. Self-Help Staff interviewed her and her neighbor wrote out her story, as she is unabe to read or write. However, the words are those of Adelaida. Adelaida is a very entrepreneural worker who tracks her income and invests as much as she can.

In the community of Laurel Galan, a seven minute drive from the Self-Help office in Quinta Lidia, live 18 women who make up four groups in the Micro-Credit Program. One of these women, Adelaida, has been part of the Micro-Credit Program since November 2013. Her 17 year old son is in his thirdyear of high school and helps Adelaida with chores around the house, with her small business and he is also tutoring a local woman in reading and writing.

Adelaida just received her third loan last week. With the first loan, she was able to replace her old, small cooking pots with new, larger pots. She runs a small eatery on the side of the road and her specialty is Nacatamals, which she makes on the weekends, and also her chicken or beef soup. In the evenings, she sells tacos, enchiladas and French fries. Adelaida says her busiest days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, because on those days, the buses pass her eatery on the way to the market. She makes healthy and rich food in a clean environment, so many of the buses stop by, bringing customers.

For the past four months, Adelaida has been selling jewelry in the local communities, when she has extra time. If she doesn’t have the time, she sends a trusted family member or friend who then receives five percent of the sales. Earnings vary because when she travels to Costa Rica she receives a larger income due to exchange rate factors. She also delivers rice, oil and soap to local communities for extra income. With her earnings, Adelaida is improving her business and she saves any extra money in the community bank, a bank run by 42 women in Laurel Galan.

Adelaida is thankful and very motivated because the program has supported her through training classes, in which she has learned a variety of skills that she uses in her business. She is also thankful for the donations from Self-Help, such as the small papaya plant and the maracuya fruit plant, because now she can use the fruits to make juice. She would like to thank all the people who support the program, which for her, has been a huge help. She plans to continue with the program because she has not only received access to low cost loans, but she has improved her personal skills and knowledge. She is also thankful to the organization and donors who understand that Nicaragua is a country with great poverty, but a strong spirit and great hopes to improve.

Your support has enabled Adelaida, and other motivated women like her, to earn money to support their families. Thank you for your generosity.

Adelaida
Adelaida's son Hernandez
The jewelry Adelaida crafts and sells
The jewelry Adelaida crafts and sells
Letter from Adelaida
Letter from Adelaida

Links:

Jul 8, 2015

Finding Satisfaction in Self-Employment

NASEY Organic Oyster Mushrooms
NASEY Organic Oyster Mushrooms

The Self-Help International (SHI) Young Adult Training Centre (YATC) was established in 2013 to reduce unemployment in Ghana,especially among the youth, and related social vices such as robbery, prostitution, and unwanted teenage pregnancies. Thankfully, young adults including Bernard of Kumawu, Samuel of Offinso, and Veronica of Obuasi, to mention but a few, have gained employment and even become employers having passed through the Training Centre.  

For Yaw, his encounter with the Centre brings him more than employment. He has joy and satisfaction.

Yaw is married to Eva and they have a three-year old daughter, Nana. In 2008, he completed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a degree in Industrial Arts. From 2009 to 2011, he worked as a sales manager in a furniture manufacturing company. He later joined a brewery company and finally an insurance company, all as a sales person. He tells SHI he never found satisfaction in any of those places due to workplace politics. ‘I almost lost my life’ he lamented.

In January 2015, Yaw enrolled at the SHI YATC and successfully graduated in mushroom production in February 2015. He has since been producing and marketing mushrooms. His business is named NASEY. This is a combination of the abbreviation of his name, his daughter and his wife. They produce pure organic mushrooms to the delight of many vegetarians in his community. His experience as a sales person has enabled him to quickly establish contacts with restaurants and supermarkets. Demand for NASEY mushroom is fast growing and he plans to mobilize past graduates from the training centre into an association to be able to control mushroom production and marketing and also meet demand from clients.

Though he acknowledges there are challenges, Yaw tells Self-Help there is joy in self-employment. It is indeed refreshing to see Nana lend a hand to her father.

It is gratifying, realizing that the training centre is providing opportunities for the unskilled and marginalized in society as well as for people like Yaw and their families who seek jobs they can do with passion so they can experience returns beyond the bottom line: inner joy and satisfaction.

Nana helps her father with mushroom sales
Nana helps her father with mushroom sales
Jul 6, 2015

Almost left out

Paul (left) and Akwasi (right) in January 2015
Paul (left) and Akwasi (right) in January 2015

In rural Ghana, quite a number of children spend time idle at home or with their parents on their farms rather than in school. The importance of formal education has still not dawned on most parents within Beposo community in the Atwima Mponua District despite the nationwide push for primary education.

Esther and Simon have been married for seven years and have four children; Eric, Paul, Akwasi and Monica aged 5, 4, 3 and 1.5 years respectively. They are subsistence farmers growing maize, cassava, and plantain in Beposo.

Eric is in kindergarten (KG) 2 at Beposo D/A Basic School while Paul is in KG1 at Beposo Islamic Basic School. For unexplained reasons, Akwasi does not attend school and suffers from malnourishment, loneliness and lack of necessary parental care.

Akwasi wanted to be in school just like his elder brothers, Eric and Paul, but unfortunately, he was left alone in the house and sometimes wandered through the Beposo community while his parents worked on their farms. There were times his elder brother, Paul, would sacrifice going to school to keep him company. Akwasi would occasionally sneak in and join his brother Paul in the KG1 classroom despite the displeasure of the teachers since he was not enrolled. Yet each time he went to school, he was sure of a nutritious cup of QPM porridge.

In February 2015, SHI intervened and Akwasi was enrolled at Beposo Islamic Basic School. He is happy going to school to learn and making friends. His teachers tell SHI he never misses school and one of the things he enjoys is the QPM porridge.

Thanks to four months of eating a nutritious daily meal of QPM porridge at the school feeding program, Akwasi has shown significant improvement in his health and confidence.                

Esther and Simon have openly expressed their appreciations to SHI, especially, the staff in charge of the quality protein maize feeding program for renewing their thoughts and restoring their confidence in their son Akwasi (“Yaw” for short). They have awakened to the fact that Yaw is not different from the other children and with the needed parental care and guidance he will grow to become a responsible adult to take care of them in their old age. Akwasi has since received a school uniform and a backpack and the family is happier than before.

Akwasi ("Yaw") in February 2015
Akwasi ("Yaw") in February 2015
A healthier Yaw, 4 months on the feeding program
A healthier Yaw, 4 months on the feeding program
An appreciative & healthier family
An appreciative & healthier family

Links:

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