This project seeks to empower vulnerable women to be able to contribute to their household economies through a Self Help Group approach. It has been realized in many parts of the world that an effective way to tackle poverty and to enable communities to improve the quality of life is through social mobilization of disadvantaged people into Self Help Groups (SHGs). The concept of Self Help Groups is based on the idea of community participation, as sustainable community development requires the active participation of the entire community. Peoples’ participation ensures that the benefits of development are equitably distributed.
The primary focus of self-help groups is to develop the capacity of the disadvantaged, particularly women, so that they can deal with socio-political and socio-economic issues that affect their lives. The women mobilize in small groups for savings & credit to improve the economic conditions of the individual women. Inter-loaning meetings increase their confidence in themselves. Micro-capital assistance gives the means to start small enterprises for generating more money thus improving their overall economic condition.
Apart from income generation, the groups are instrumental in tackling village issues such as water problems/social issues, violence against women, family crisis and negotiations with the local leader for getting their rights within the village. Such groups use participatory processes to provide opportunities for people to share knowledge, common experiences, and problems. Through their participation, members help themselves and others by gaining knowledge and information, and by obtaining and providing emotional and practical support. Self-help groups are voluntary, and are led by members. Generally, groups meet on a regular basis, are open to new members, and do not cost money to join.