What are Self Help Groups (SHG’S)?

Self-Help Groups or Chamaa as they are popularly called in Kenya, are exclusive groups started primarily to empower women in rural and suburban areas. These groups typically consist of 15-20 members who are predominantly women. The women in rural areas pool their savings in order to offer short-term loans to members of the group or to contribute towards a group project. Self-help groups are fundamental in Jitokeze Wamama Waafrika’s work in promoting the social and economic empowerment of women in West Pokot.  Through the use of Self Help Groups, the organization has been able to help the women become economically independent and help them contribute to the socio-economic development of their society by helping to finance many individual and group projects. Initially, all self-help groups focus on cultivating a strong saving habit amongst its members by making them deposit a little portion of their daily income in a kitty so that in case a member needs money immediately to tackle a personal issue or an economic project, these savings could be offered to them as an internal loan to be repaid at a fixed interest within a stipulated time. Jitokeze Wamama Waafrika has over sixty-five self-help groups in West Pokot County working to strengthen the capacity for climate change resilience among vulnerable farmers, and to improve the livelihoods of these groups within the Pokot community.  

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