Self Help Groups

“When my husband died, my family struggled. I was unemployed and had 4 children to take care of, my own child and 3 of my daughter’s children, as she had passed away. I could not leave the children at home alone to go and find work. I had an old sewing machine so I started making school uniforms to sell. But the machine was very slow so I could only make a few at a time.”

Mrs. Sabela received a visit from a Thandanani Fieldworker who told her about their Family Strengthening Program and the Self Help Group which she could attend to improve her situation. Each member of the group brings in R2 per week which is saved. The money is then lent to members who need assistance with certain things, like fixing houses, paying school fees or starting a small business. Mrs. Sabela decided that this was a great opportunity to take a loan to purchase a new and faster sewing machine so that she could make more school uniforms to sell. With her new electric sewing machine she can sew twice as much in half the time therefore growing her business. “I am very proud of what I have achieved.” Says Mrs. Sabelo. “The support is great and I am so grateful. They have made it possible for me to take care of my family.”

As part of our Family Strengthening Program, we encourage caregivers to join a self-help group. These groups provide caregivers with access to self-regulated savings and loans which can be used to supplement their income in difficult times or capital to start a micro enterprise to increase their household income. In this way Thandanani’s Self Help Group’s strengthen the family’s ability to provide for the children in their care.