Nov 01

Witnessing Real Transformation through Self Help Groups

I love the work I do, I get to witness real transformation! I wish you could see it yourself and not just through my eyes.

As I have shared previously, the Self Help Group Approach has kicked up a notch. We now have 53 groups in operation with over 800 families benefitting from your support. But what really excites me about this project is that we are now reaching critical mass.

Ok Louise, what does that mean?

Ok, so what I mean is, as part of the overall SHGA the women are empowered to take responsibility for the process and to address issues they are confronted with in the villages.

I want to just give you a quick rundown on activities so far!

Since creating a Cluster Level Association (that is a group 10 SHGs known as a CLA) they have:

  1. Formed 2 new SHG groups themselves – this takes the burden off KTD196 and enables the continuation of the process. They train the new ladies to level 3 and then we step in withe rest of the 7 modules.
  2. The CLA is now going to the weaker groups and assisting them with the book keeping and problem solving that is required.
  3. As part of the CLA’s operation, they identified a local crèche which was struggling to provide a quality service to the village because they are not funded by Department of Basic Education or Social Development and so the ladies raised food supplies for a start so that the crèche could feed the little ones.
  4. Water in Myakayaka is basically non-existent, they receive water by paying a water tanker to deliver water. Although this is a basic human right, the people are marginalised, local so many other smaller, poorer villages. The ladies went to the local municipality and received no support. Then they went to the district municipality. A water audit has been done, there were 5 non function boreholes all requiring intervention and different repairs. To date, one has now been fixed and the village receive water twice a week. The Municipal Manager and MEC has been put on notice that the remaining boreholes need to be repaired before the end of the year or they will go to the Provincial Premier. The ladies are starting to realise their power and use it effectively to demand change.

5, Drugs have been cited as the reason for so much crime. The CLA is now working with the Community Policing Forum (CPF) and the South African Police Service (SAPs) plus local Induna’s. They are wanting to be trained in crime prevention and make the environment less conducive to drug users and safer for the communities.

  1. Every CLA member is active at different levels within the village structures such as School Governing Boards, Community Leadership Structures, Board members of different community services such as crèches, drop in centres etc.

The women are using their new skills and abilities to transform their lives and their communities.

None of this would be possible without your generous support. I know I have focussed on the ladies this week but most of the children exist within families we support through SHG so the synergy is there. This we way also prevent kids from falling through the cracks.

Gosh I am so excited by this work we do. And it is all possible through your support. You help us achieve our goals. That is so exciting. Thank you for being a part of the solution for 100s of families and thousands of children. You are such a blessing to me, my staff and the people we serve.

Thank you