Agarnet: Partnersip for Change
One way to help people is to give them things that they don’t have: like clinics or schools. That’s not what this site is about!
Another way of helping them is to give them the encouragement and the framework to use their existing resources and skills to provide these things for themselves.
You don’t believe it? No, they don’t either when they first hear about it. They say “What can we do? We are poor. We are not educated. What good will saving 3p a week each achieve?”.
But some try it. And after a year of watching them, others in their village want to join in too. Why? Because they see the supportive friendships that have formed; they see that working together achieves more than trying to work alone. They see that children are being sent to school and are able to have three meals a day, or that each member now has a goat, or they watch the group members terracing each other’s land to stop erosion. Former beggars start running small businesses and old men learn how to read. And their neighbours want some of that for themselves.
Some groups even start Kindergarten schools and give scholarships to children from poor families.
This is what this site is about. By sponsoring one of our groups you too can be part of this. Pick a group.
Travel with them over the next few years. Hear their stories. Watch their progress.
The SHG model delivers very high returns and is demonstrating transformational change of people’s lives. Cost effectiveness is driven by high impact and low costs. The basis of the model is asset-based community empowerment, which fosters long-term commitment
Women in particular are benefiting: they report that they have increased confidence and decision-making power. This in turn has driven changes such as a reduction in the incidence of female genital cutting (FGC) through awareness-raising, and improved attendance at school for both girls and boys.
As I didn’t make a contribution to the household expenses, my participation in decision making was very minimal.
The Adama Success Story
The Groups in Adama, Eastern Ethiopia, are 11 years old! Senait Taye, a founder member and now General Secretary of the 'Hope for Tomorrow' Coalition of Self-Help Groups in Adama tells their story
Birtukan was working as a beggar to feed her children. Then she heard about Self-Help Groups and joined one. Now she runs a successful market stall and has regained her dignity.