The Self Help Group (SHG) is one of the Southern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (SA RILab) innovation projects implemented in Dikgale Community of Limpopo Province and Pyramid area of Pretoria in South Africa by Sinamandla. The project falls under the Resilience Innovation Challenge for Food Security and Improved Income Generation (RIC4FIG) pathway 1 (Improve life and entrepreneurial skills).
The problem addressed
The SHG project seeks to address challenges encountered by many poor rural communities in South Africa. These include over-reliance on social grants and lack of employment opportunities in rural communities and the isolation, low esteem and vulnerability that many women in the poorest households experience.
The SHG project strengthens resilience through food security, improved lifeskills, entrepreneurial skills development, livelihood diversification and community initiatives with joint ownership. The proposed project will be implemented through the establishment of SHGs in Pyramid and Ga-Dikgale by local NGOs who will be capacitated and supported by Sinamandla.
The project mobilises and empowers women in the poorest households in target communities using what they already have to start a process of development that impacts over-time at the individual, group, household and community levels. No money or resources are given to the targeted women; rather they contribute money weekly from their own limited resources (primarily social grants in the beginning).
The project enables the poorest members in a community to move themselves out of poverty and take control of their own lives, individually and collectively, using their own limited resources. Beneficiaries will have a more positive outlook on life, be more independent economically and will be more socially connected. This project also provides opportunity for women, who would have otherwise been out of the formal economy, to gain financial inclusion and governance skills.