Saturday, 30 March 2013

Self Help Group - 1-year Celebrations in Shenny

Self Help Group - 1-year Celebrations in Shenny - Mar 2013

The Naddi SHG and international interns celebrate together.

Self Help Group is a financial organization of a Womens Association based on mutual support both for community based supplementary financial as well as social needs. Each of its members saves a small amount of money each week or month, which is gathered in a common “bank”. This in turn encourages savings, and can provide its members with small loans at a reasonable interest rate for business purposes or in times of financial distress.

Self Help Group in Shenny was started with 16 women in April 2012. They all contributed to the SHG by giving 50 Rs each month during the course of a year. At the end of March, they reached an amount of Rs 9.600. To celebrate this first year of success, the organization decided to add RS 400 to the SHG to achieve Rs
10 000. After one year, the women are still motivated and have decided to use this money to create and set up new income generating activities.

The aim of this first year was to collect the money and keep it in the group managed informal "little SHG bank”.

The objective of the second year is to continue to collection of money, but also to create new business opportunities through loans funded by their own "little SHG bank” . Thanks to the profit made with these projects, they will also be able to pay their initial loan back.

End of the 1st Year Celebration:

To celebrate the success of the Self-Help Group in Shenny we decided to organize a “picnic” with all of the women involved in the SHG, and volunteer-interns in EduCARE India and its affiliate programs / orgs. After a quick presentation to go over the trajectory of the SHG, we honored all the women individually for their active involvement and contributions toward the SHG.  The women were very happy and proud to be complimented for their work.

By the end of the presentation, we proposed some ideas – based on personal evaluations and surveys collected – on how to use this money, and give them the possibility to generate an income. The reactions of the women have been above and beyond our expectations! They were very motivated and enthusiastic. Every single woman participated, and seemed really interested. There was a very positive exchange ideas and dialogue between the women and the interns.

Everyone working together to prepare a delicious Indian meal of puri’s and channa. To finish off this great day, we all shared in the preparation and then later eating of a delicious Indian meal

The Next Phase of the Self Help Group:
How will the women use the money they have collected?
The first project idea involves all of the members in the SHG. The idea is to create a ReStore,  a local shop, in main square of Naddi. In this ReStore, the women will sell their own hand-made products to the local community and tourists. This project will allow the women to earn money independently from their husbands, brothers, and father; and therefore enable them to increase their own economic empowerment and personal self-confidence by giving them the means to contribute to their household income.

In the first phase of production, the women are really interested in producing and selling knitted items, tailored clothes, and local accessories. At the same time they are also highly motivated to learn how to make jewellery and various baked goods. They would then add these items into the second phase of production.
In the next couple of weeks the women will begin their production of these items, and plan to open their shop by May!

Elodie Duvivier & Aureline Moye
Micro-finance interns from France
March/April 2013

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Sanitation and Waste Management during After School Fun Club!

Sanitation and Waste Management during After School Fun Club!

SWASH police showing way how to sort out and reduce the quantity of trash waste !

Sorting and learning which trash is burnable and not, and why

After School Fun Club has continued to focus once a month on SWASH (Sanitation of Water, Air, and Soil for a Healthy Village) project. During this activity, we teach the children how important waste management is, and how dumping trash or burning plastic and other mixed waste can be detrimental to the local environment and their health. This week, we organised another trash sorting / classification workshop with the kids of Shenny with participation of Sara and Melissa from EduCARE India team in the lead. The kids in Fun Club have started to get more aware of this initiative and would hopefully further sensitise others (their family members and the larger community in the village) to dispose of their trash in a responsible manner.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Starting of a Girls Club in a new village

After the success of the Girls Club and Young Women’s Association in Naddi, our volunteer-interns team is working to start up a new group in Himachal Pradesh village cluster at Maitee. As new international volunteer-intern members, the team-members had moved to Maiti at the end of January, 2013 to help initiate this new project.
Naina, Kate Davis - Canada (Girls Club and YWA Project Manager),
Laboo, and Auréline - France (Micro-finance Project Manager)
Since moving to Maitee they (Kate, working with our affiliate YWI; and Aureline working with affiliate MicroEmpowerED program) have spent the majority of their time getting to know the women and children of the community. Kate, from Canada remarks, "At first I was intimidated by this task because there had been no previous interaction with these families and I was worried as to how they would receive my presence in their village. After some casual visits and many cups of chai my worries soon vanished as I got to know the families.  Up to this point, there are about 15 girls with whom I regularly interact that range from the age of 6 to 20. The older girls have been helping me learn some Hindi and I help them with their English when I can. The children are so happy to teach me about their way of life in Maiti and they especially enjoy it when I dress in the traditional Indian Salwar Kameez outfit, saying that I look “Oh! SO nice!”." 
            In the next few weeks, the team has started to organise a room in the near vicinity of the intern house to use it as a common get together and activity room. A classroom at the local elementary school is also being put into use..The team-members will not only be able to assist the teachers with the English curriculum during school hours, but they will also teach skills for community based waste management and good case practices for environmental conservation amongst the children. In the afternoon they would be able to conduct Girls Club and After School Program activities. For Girls Club, the girls have shown a great interest in learning various life skills and practicing English. They have also said that they would like to do arts and crafts as well as organized team sports on the field out back.  We look forward to seeing these activities come to fruition in the next few weeks, and, support Aureline (from France) towards initiating a Young Women Association and Self Help Group there!

Main Road Square of Maitee village
A lline of houses of the marginalized and poor lie (beyond visual sight) behind the trees on the right extreme