What is a SHG?
Self Help Groups (Swahili: Chamas) involve groups of people who gather together and provide support for each other.
The types of self-help groups are numerous and can include:
- Collective finance and enterprise (savings and loans, group credit, collective income-generation, joint farming)
- Cultural groups (burial societies, community development, religious groups)
- Advocacy and social justice (human rights, environmental protection, property rights, labor rights)
- Self-education (life skills, capacity-building, health education)
- Health (family planning, reproductive health services).
Such groups are created with the underlying assumption that when individuals join together to take action towards overcoming obstacles and attaining social change, individual and collective empowerment. The members of such groups used to be predominantly female but with time men have also started participating either by joining the female groups or even forming their own.