Mmwangwana group members about to make floorpolish
2020 promises to be an exciting year for Thusanang Self Help Groups. We have appointed a new Community Facilator in the Molepo area and she has already started 10 new groups. We hope that belonging to a group will significantly improve the lives of these women and their dependants. The next exchange visit will be held in that area in April.
The annual Learning and Sharing Day held at Thusanang on 3 December 2019 was a great success. 249 women attended this event and enjoyed listening to a talk by the guest speaker, Gloria Mangena from FAMSA (Families South Africa) Limpopo on Drug Abuse.
The CLA (Cluster Level Association) in the Mamabolo area decided to hold a Drug Awareness day on 22 February to inform members of the community about the signs and symptoms of Drug Abuse. As a result of this, one addict has decided to quit and has been assisted in finding a suitable rehabilitation centre.
While women are able to borrow from their groups, and receive a lot of moral support from one another, the most important part of improving their life styles lies in successful income generating projects. At present members from various groups are involved in making fabric softener, floor polish, jam, meals, snacks for schoolchildren, patchwork bags, beadwork, knitting scarves and beanies, raising and selling chickens and eggs and growing vegetables. Marketing remains a challenge so most people try to make something that will sell in their own communities.
We now have 48 groups in the project and have started two clusters this year. These are a new level of groups where 2 representatives from various well-functioning self-help groups, meet to lobby for community upliftment. They identify needs in their communities and try to do something about them.
We are also hoping to translate the savings and minute books from Zulu into Sepedi and to print them for our groups before the end of this year.
Since our last report, we have started 6 new groups. We always stress the importance of starting small income generating projects with our self-help groups. Recently members from several groups have met in two new groups to learn how to do patchwork. The ladies are very enthusiastic and are already making bags. They hope to show others how good they have become on 3 December.
We are all looking forward to our year end learning and sharing event to be held at Thusanang on 3 December. We expect about 300 ladies from all the 48 groups in different villages to attend. They will hear some informative talks, and watch performances of a drama and a poem. There will also be time for renewing friendships, learning from one another,and selling their wares. These include beads and bags, jewellery, eggs, jams, laundry softener, scarves, beanies and vegetables. This will hopefully be a fitting end to the year's activities and members will go away with renewed enthusiasm for helping themselves and supporting one another in the new year.
Sep 3, 2019
Thusanang's Self-Help Groups Latest Exchange Visit and Gardening Project
By Ann Luther - Project Leader
Thusanang's Self Help Groups held an exchange visit on 23 July at Solomondale in rural Limpopo.These exchange visits are highlights of the year for members who have an opportunity to share successes and challenges, sell home made articles/produce, learn about different topics and renew friendships. Each group wears their group shirt which makes the event colourful. The hosting group has been hard at work organising a marquee and seating and is up early preparing food for the day.
At this exchange, the group was addressed by Captain Makokga of the South African Police on community safety. Thereafter the Community Facilitators had an opportunity to address the group before opening the meeting to all members who could share ideas. Groups discuss successful income generating projects as well as topics such as what to do when a member takes a long time to repay a loan.
Recently members of the Phedishanang group established in February 2019, attended a gardening workshop and have now started what looks like a successful community vegetable garden which will soon produce produce for members of the group and for sale in the community.