Sakhisizwe SHG loan issue to members
Sinamandla previously conducted research of the Self-help Group (SHG) project in 2010 so new research was a priority in 2017. A local development consultant and her team were contracted to conduct the research between April-June. Amangwe Village were the SHG partner selected to host the research project and Sakhisizwe SHG in Makwezini, a settlement in the uMfolozi Municipality, KZN, were chosen to participate in the research.
The research set out to capture from the SHG members themselves, their families and key community stakeholders what changes being an SHG member has made in terms of the following areas. What changes did it make to family finances and economic wellbeing? What changes did it make to social relationships within the family and community? What changes did it make to their capacity to celebrate life events in accordance with customary practices? What impact did it have on strengthening women’s empowerment? These themes were followed through in a structured group discussion with the SHG and one-on-one interviews with a sample of SHG members, and a group interview with their families. A sample of community stakeholders were also interviewed.
The findings revealed a great deal of positive evidence that being a member of an SHG was a life changing experience at most of the levels outlined above. SHG members and their families shared their journey from dire poverty and unhappiness to gaining new skills in SHG training which enabled them to plan and manage their finances better. They felt also confident about the future. They all shared how neighbourhoods had become happier and more caring since the establishment of the SHG. Stakeholders reinforced this view and some of them had joined the SHG as they saw the progress the members were making and wanted to be a part of vibrant, caring group.
The research report states that “SHG’s are clearly a very effective way of addressing poverty, especially in rural communities where people still embrace traditional lifestyles. Through participation, poor people solve some of the economic problems and are set on a course of more targeted saving and use of available funds. Increased social cohesion, social capital and self-reliance are always additional benefits of well-established SHGs and this impacts on their families and the community and has a snowballing effect which can gain a momentum of its own. SHGs are often involved in local development projects which benefit the wider community.”
“Sinamandla’s model of working with local partners and having in place an ongoing capacity building program ensures the continual expansion of skills and knowledge. Sakhisizwe SHG has been exposed to training covering issues and topics such as HIV/AIDS, child protection, household vegetable production, gender and gender violence etc. The investment Sinamandla and their partners make in SHGs is exceptional, considering the current funding constraints most NGOs face.”
Many thanks for your interest in and support of Sinamandla and its work with women in SHGs. Please would you consider a donation to Sinamandla in 2017 which will be greatly appreciated!
You can subscribe to our E-newsletter via the Sinamandla website, like us on Facebook at sinamandlaselfhelpgroup or follow us on Twitter @sinamandlashg. Our SHG book, “Moving ourselves out of poverty”, is available for $30.00 including postage – to order directly from Sinamandla email email@example.com
Sakhisizwe SHG members run their small business