Our latest update from ASHA expands on their work written in previous updates. We are happy to report that there are now 5 women’s groups being helped with your support. They hold monthly meetings to discuss issues of money management and other important issues pertaining to health, social matters, and group concerns.
ASHA staff provides valuable assistance in helping groups to organize and moderate the meetings. The staff has also provides ongoing technical assistance in addition to monitoring the group’s activities (such as seed-saving, planting, preparation of manures, etc.) The groups have improved their collective knowledge and skills regarding conservation, utilization, storage, and management of the seeds. Their capacity for group management and teamwork has been nothing short of impressive. And in a true democratic spirit, the groups have also reformed as part of a yearly process to provide leadership opportunities for all participants.
The monthly collection from group members for the group savings fund, which takes place during the meetings, has continued to be successful tool for savings. One group recently decided to construct a community center that would work double-duty as a place for group meetings and as a collection center to store their produce. With their group’s saving fund, the group members were able to construct 2-room building. The women collected locally available materials such as stone sand, stone, wood, etc. ASHA assisted minimally by providing roofing materials.
With your support, these women’s groups have been able to carry out activities that have enhanced their knowledge and skills and empowered them economically. The women have also been empowered in other ways. As group members, they have reported that they are more valued in the community and their status has improved within the family. With their regular savings, they themselves can make decisions for buying clothes, food, children’s school fees, and other family necessities.