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Self Help Group women help themselves

27 JULY 2017

Self Help Group women help themselves

The village of Amangwe is nearby to our Hillside Aluminium, South Africa operation. The women there aim for financial independence, personal empowerment and a better quality of life, and through Amangwe Village Self-Help Group (SHG), and with the support of us, we are making a differnece.

The women targeted for the SHG project have limited income at their disposal before they join a group, and for many social grants are the main or only income source of in the household. They usually lack opportunities, resources or confidence to generate their own income or start a business, and the opportunities for getting a job are often very scarce. In the poorest households, children may be kept home from school because their families are unable to afford school uniforms, school fees or transport.

With our help, SHG encourage women to achieve financial independence with the aid of a savings and credit scheme. The members all save money from their own resources, and administer their own collected funds.

Each group member contributes money on a weekly basis, creating a fund the members can borrow from, and pay it back with interest. The idea is that the women will use the loans to start their own businesses in order provide for their families.

SHG activities also include building and renovating houses for community members, sewing school uniforms, paying for medical expenses and purchasing household goods and furniture. A number of businesses have also been created including tuck shops, poultry and crop farming, sewing and traditional beading enterprises.