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  • GreenLivelihoods
  • Area 3, Marya House -1st Floor
    Behind NBS Bank,
    Opp. Tutlas General Dealers Compex.
    P.O. Box 338,
    Lilongwe, Malawi

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Economic Empowerment

Community Self-Help Group are self-governed, peer controlled, informal group of people with same socio-economic background and having a desire to collectively perform common purposes. Here poor people voluntarily come together to save whatever amount they can save conveniently out of their earnings, to mutually agree to contribute to a common fund and to lend to the members for meeting their productive and emergent needs.

In Dowa SHGs have been able to mobilize small savings either on weekly basis from women who were not expected to have any savings. They have been able to effectively recycle the resources generated among the members for meeting the emergent credit needs of members of the group. SHG is a group formed by the community women, which has specific number of members like 15 or 20. In such a group the poorest women would come together for emergency, disaster, social reasons, economic support to each other have ease of conversation, social interaction and economic interaction. A SHG is an informal association to enhance the member’s financial security as primary focus and other common interest of members such as area development, awareness, motivation, leadership, training and associating in other social inter-mediation programmes for the benefit of the entire community. The very existence of SHGs is highly relevant to make the people of below poverty line hopeful and self-reliant. SHGs enable them to increase their income, improve their standard of living and status in society. It acts as a catalyst for bringing this section of society to the main stream. Ultimately, the nation reaps the advantages of socialism.Currently GL in partnership with FISD has managed to mobilize 80 women who belong to 4 groups as community change agents.

The Village Champion

The story of a 28 year old Sofina Leneck (a mother of 4 children) a member of Tithandizane Self-Help Group in Dowa (GVH Ponombo, Chewo Village, TA Mkukula). As a member Sofina was saving K100 every week. She first got a soft loan of K1000 from the group which helped her to start a business of buying and selling Maize (grain). Before joining SGH, she was living below the poverty line hence strangling to provide for her family since her husband has two wives hence rarely supports her. Following a series of soft loans and paying back she was able to accumulate more profits hence boosting her business and able to save some for basic needs for herself and her kids. Through her savings she was given a chance of getting K 20,000.00 at once which she used to buy four piglets. She is using these piglets as seed for a more grown livestock production. “The self-help group has helped me a lot by changing my living standard since am able to have money after doing my business and am able to buy things which will help me in the future like the piglets which will help me to pay school fees for my child who is going to secondary school next year and also provide well balanced diets for my children as learnt from the group.