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Befiker Asadegen “mature us in love”

Name: Befiker Asadegen “mature us in love”   SHG,

Location:Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia

Date of Establishment: December 11, 2009    

Membership: 10 female members aged 28-45

Household: The group represents 58 household members including 38 children: 13 boys and 25 girls.

Economic status:  We have average monthly household incomes of £20-40 which is just above the poverty line by international standards. Most households can provide 2-3 meals a day for all family members with some fruit and vegetables and occasionally some meat. We have our own homes and can afford beds. We buy new clothes for children once a year. Three or four of our children, the majority boys, will be able to attend school to grade 8 (approximately 12 years old) and we can provide health care for general problems but would slip into debt and possible destitution should any serious illness occur.

Befiker Asadegen SHG members’ initial savings were 7p per week but now we save 17p each per week. In total we have saved £328. The group has a social contribution of 3p per week that helps us to support one another during times of sorrow or emergency. The group’s first loans to members were of £3 each and the largest loan we have made is £33. In total we have loaned £750 to members since we started.

These loans have been used for our businesses, to buy household goods, for children’s school fees, clothing, uniform, and health care. As a group we have also cleaned our village and attended public meetings. We have been trained by government officials and by the project in how to run our group, gender equality, conflict resolution, resource management, HIV/AIDs and how to link and network with local resources.

We plan to sell soft drinks to hotels, open a fruit shop, and open a kindergarten school.

What the SHG means to Zenebech Tadiwos  

 “I am married with six family members. Before joining my group, my children used to eat a maximum of twice a day and they couldn’t go to school because we couldn’t afford uniform, exercise books or bags. I stayed at home and my husband’s income was not enough to cover all the expenses. I also had very poor relationship with my neighbours because I was ashamed of our situation.

When I heard about Self Help Groups I was not very impressed because what I was looking for was hand outs of cash. However, the facilitators told us we are the only solution for the poverty we are in. I decided to give it a try and joined my group. After a while, they gave me a loan and I started to sell maize in the market. It was profitable! I was very pleased! Now I sell maize on market days and second hand clothes to people in my village. We are doing much better now. Even if I can’t call myself rich, I’m able to feed my children three times a day; I’m sending them to school and I’m buying clothes twice a year. This is a huge transformation in my life and it is because of the Self Help Approach.”

 

With your help, we can support the further development of the Self Help Group programme so that more people can work together to use their own resources to feed their families, send their children to school and improve their communities as this group has done.