Through the Self-help group (SHG) project, Sinamandla aims to socially and economically empower women from households made vulnerable by poverty, the impact of HIV and AIDS, gender inequalities and other societal injustices.
There are four main components in SHG project:
1. It focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the community, organizing the poor and vulnerable into strong self-help groups (SHGs) so that they are no longer voiceless and powerless individuals.
2. It helps women realize their potential as individuals through initiating a savings and credit scheme whereby the members in the group save from their own meagre resources and administer their own fund.
3. It provides capacity and competence through a series of training programmes provided by a local NGO, who can support the processes that increase self-confidence, develop self-reliance, and help poor people to set their own agenda.
4. It builds the model up through clustering at least six to 10 SHGs into a Cluster Level Association (CLA) to work on the things that cannot be done by SHGs themselves effectively.
Sinamandla believes that the families of women in Self-help Groups will be able to better withstand household shocks, while mothers and grandmothers will be better able to care for the children for whom they are responsible. Being a member of an SHG means that each woman:
1. begins to accumulate her own savings;
2. has access to regular loans from her SHG and information on government grants which can result in diverse income sources for her household;
3. has opportunities to develop her personal skills and increase her capacity for involvement in group and community projects;
4. begins to see tangible benefits for her household members, especially her children.
By the end of 2014, there were over 17 000 women in almost 1 300 SHGS across 5 provinces of Southa Africa.