Mtubatuba Self- Help Groups

We've just completed the report for the end of our second year of funding from GAGA- Growth and Goodwill for Africa. They have been supporting the expansion of the self-help group programme in Mtubatuba. Sometimes we need an activity like a writing a report to make us take stock of progress. It's been exciting! There are now 49 groups in the area which include over 550 people. They've saved over R135,000 and started businesses galore.

When our trustees, Rebecca and Tom, visited South Africa in June last year, they spent a day learning more about the groups. Highlights included observing a self-help group meeting. It was interesting to see the formality with which meetings were conducted, for example, if someone was unable to attend, they had to send a letter to the chair. Depending upon the rules created by each group, the chair may change each meeting. Seeing the group meeting and collection of savings in action seemed to illustrate the simple effectiveness of the self help group programme.  You could see how the training to provide the basic administration skills and structure made it possible for the women to achieve things for themselves. Rebecca and Tom also enjoyed hearing about all the women’s business ideas. It was fascinating to observe the different levels of business acumen and experience each group had. Some had fully grasped the concepts of profit and loss whilst others were learning as they went along in terms of pricing their goods.