With the support of GlobalGiving donors, Manavi has been able to reach out to many women.
243 self-help groups (SHGs) have been formed in 17 village districts, with a total of over 5,000 women members. The women meet weekly to discuss issues affecting them and to turn in their weekly savings quota of approximately US $0.15. The savings can be withdrawn at any time and serves as an emergency fund when needed. They take out loans to support their farming and other related income-generating activities, which they pay back to the group.
The women receive training on organic farming and seed saving. The idea of worm compost has been very successful and communities gradually understand the importance of compost better with time. As a result the demand for building worm composting pits is increasing quite a lot. To meet this growing demand some banks have agreed to provide soft loans to the farmers for the construction of bigger compost pits. Farmers are not only creating enough compost to use in their fields, they are selling some too. Additionally the use of organic pesticides has enabled the women to control 60% to 70% of pests.
58 SHGs have been linked with different banks. Normally it takes six months to consolidate a formal relationship between an SHG and a bank. After six months of bank transactions, these groups are eligible for bank loans or other kinds of assistance.
25 SHGs have been able to mobilize financial supports from banks and Manavi, with a total investment capital of over US $16,000. Most of these groups have invested in activities related with agriculture, animal husbandry, trading of locally consumable items such as fishery, vegetables, fruits etc.
Federations of SHGs have been initiated in more than 10 districts. We are encouraging the federations to take up issues like atrocities perpetrated on women and adolescents, dowry cases, health & education related issues, and other village and district-level development projects.
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