Youtube Icon Twitter Icon Facebook Icon
Home » The Adama Success Story

The Adama Success Story

The Adama Success Story

Senait Taye is General Secretary of the “Hope for Tomorrow” Coalition of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Adama and a founder member of the Adama SHGs. She told their story:

The first five SHGs were established in June 2002 by the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC). Each of those SHGs had 20 voluntary members recruited from the poorest of the poor in the local community. Now there are 310 SHGs in Adama Town alone and 167 groups in the surrounding towns where people have seen what we have done and we have shared our experience.

EKHC gave us training in how to run meetings, budgeting, savings and credit. We learned to minimise unnecessary expenses and maximise our savings. In those days each of us saved 10 cents (½p) a day to enable us to contribute 50 cents (2p) each week to the group savings. Now, ten years later, the group members save between 5 birr (20p) and 200 birr (£7.70) a week each.

After a while we started borrowing from our savings for different purposes. This rescued us from paying high interest rates to illegal money-lenders. In the beginning the most a member could  borrow was 34 birr (£1.30). Now the biggest loan that a group has made is 32,000birr (£1,230) and group capital ranges from 10,000birr (£385), in the newest groups,  to 300,000birr (£11,540). By saving and borrowing from our own savings we are not only able to improve our economic status but also to support others by creating employment opportunities. The SHGs have also increased our social interaction, our concern for each other, our management and decision-making skills, our understanding of women and children’s rights, and our understanding of our rights to vote and stand for election.

After 6 months of formation around 12 SHGs form Cluster Level Associations (CLAs) by nominating 2 representatives from each SHG. There are now 22 CLAs in Adama Town. One of the functions of CLAs is to create networks and relationships with different government offices and NGOs to lobby them concerning local community needs. In this way we have influenced the provision of potable water, electric power, roads and schools. Four of the CLAs have opened Kindergartens for children from poor families between the ages of 3 ½ and 6 years , charging very reasonable fees. We have also given scholarships to 81 orphaned children from the community. 65 group members have learned to read and write because they have been taught by literate colleagues. We produce and sell bags made from recycled plastics. This, apart from the economic benefit, is useful in terms of protecting the environment. We have also taken part in projects to produce fuel efficient stoves, to plant trees and to clean our neighbourhoods.

The legal registration of this Coalition is the latest development of the SHG programme. We are planning to eventually take over the role of the NGO. Our vision is to see a poverty-free Ethiopia with gender equality and justice. Our mission is to provide support for SHGs and CLAs for the fulfillment of their own visions as well as to contribute to the social and economic development of the wider community in Adama Town. “Hope for Tomorrow” Coalition of SHGs was founded by 13 CLAs. There are a further 9 CLAs that have now met the preconditions for joining the Coalition. The total capital of all SHGs in Adama Town is 5,843,821birr (£225,000). The overall capital of all SHG members, including their working capital, is 42,024,314birr (£1,616,000). Our next plan is to open a Community Resource Centre and a community bank that can serve all the local community.

We would like to thank EKHC, Tearfund UK, KNH Germany and the different Ethiopian Government  Offices for all their support throughout our journey.