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Home » Groups » Liyu Silt ‘Special Strategy’ SHG,

Liyu Silt ‘Special Strategy’ SHG,


Location:Nazarethtown, Eastern Ethiopia

 Membership: 19 women aged 20-57 years old.

Household: Our group represents 76 household members including 46 children: 26 boys and 20 girls.

Economic status:  We have an average household monthly income of £15-20 which is relatively low. We live just below the poverty line by international standards. Our households live on one or two cold meals a day with little fruit or vegetables and very rarely meat. We can send one or two children to primary school. We buy second-hand clothes for our children to share once a year and our rented housing is poor, although we usually have blankets. We cannot provide health care or medicines for family members unless we borrow money which we may never be able to repay.


Birhan SHG members’ initial savings were 8p per week but now we save 70p each per week. In total we have saved £1171.  The group has a social contribution of 4p per week that helps us to support one another during times of sorrow or emergency.

Our group’s first loans to members were of £5 each and the largest loan we have made is £175. In total, we have circulated £1914 as loans among the group members since our establishment.

These loans have been used to start businesses including cattle fattening, trading injera (traditional Ethiopian bread), charcoal, bread, vegetable, second hand cloths and popsicles. We also have a strong social bond among ourselves and with our community. We promote the SHG approach by being involved in local government elections, tidying our environment and working with other organisations in raising awareness of HIV / AIDS.  

In the future we are planning to do some innovative work and attract the media so that other poor communities will learn from SHG.

 What the SHG means to Niyat Tahir

“I was married with 4 children. I used to stay home depending on my husband’s income. I was having marital problems with my husband I tried to solve it but finally he left me with my four children and I felt like life had turned its back on me.

It was about this time when people came to my home and told me about SHG. I joined Liyu Silt SHG. They gave me my first loan to start a cattle fattening business. I made some money out of it and paid back my loan. Then, I took my second loan to open a small kiosk. With my profit from the kiosk, I bought a refrigerator and started to sell fresh juice, popsicles and vegetables in the kiosk. I make enough money to feed my children and send them to school. Besides my economic progress, I found another family! I thought I was left alone but my SHG members are not only friends but also a family to me. Through working together, we hope we will make a huge difference in the future.




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.