Annual Report 2014-2015: full SHG Report

Self Help Group Report

During the past year, the Self Help Group (SHG) programme activities were expanded through the upscale and roll-out of the programme to all eleven districts of KZN. SHGs and Clusters (CLAs) were formed earlier and there was more training than planned in line with this expansion.

The roll-out programme entailed the expansion of activities and Zimele resources to cope with the wider areas and significantly increased numbers of people to be reached. In total, 22 new communities were selected and Zimele employed ten Field Trainers and promoted one Community Facilitator to manage the additional work.

The upscale programme was for two years, and sadly, towards the end of 2014, we had to slowly withdraw from selected districts. We believe that we have left behind 6 000 women who are able to continue with their weekly savings, thus providing them with a steady cash flow. These women have been empowered in so many ways, perhaps most significantly in financial literacy and the importance of keeping records. The formation of the Clusters was brought forward to provide sustainability to SHG structures in communities that would be impacted by Zimele’s withdrawal.

Training: Planned nutrition training was moved to April-May 2015 because of the urgent need for Zimele personnel on the SHG programme to focus on the wrapping-up process. The team prioritised data collection and developing programme sustainability by helping CLAs to create more/wider networks and understand their role of strengthening and supporting their SHG members.

Three planning workshops instead of one were conducted by Zimele to co-ordinate the implementation of various Zimele programmes and to lessen the over-loading of beneficiaries with training and other meetings.

At the beginning of 2015, Zimele and its programme beneficiaries in uMgungundlovu-Swayimane, uThukela-Winterton, and uMkhanyakude-Mtubatuba, conducted annual activity planning workshops. For each community, CLAs and the sole Federation of Swayimane presented their annual activity plans. Zimele teams worked with the groups to consolidate the plans onto one calendar for each community.

Events: In this reporting period Zimele had its oldest Cluster, Thembanani, which was formed in 2008, comply with its NPO registration requirements with the Department of Social Development. For the first time, the Cluster was able to hold an Annual General Meeting, obtain an audited Financial Report, and submit its report to the Department of Social Development.

The stakeholders that attended the Annual General Meeting included the Tribal Authorities; school principals and teachers; a representative from the Department of Social Development; the Cluster beneficiaries who are mostly orphaned children and their guardians; representatives from other Swayimane Clusters and the Federation.

The Zimele Staff who attended the meeting reported on how exciting it was to see these stakeholders in attendance and listen to the history of Thembanani Cluster from its members, illustrating its achievements with testimonies from beneficiaries. Also encouraging is how the Tribal Authority recognised the role of the women in the community and their impact, commenting on how some businessmen had in the past gone into Swayimane to try and obtain permission to build a mall and a mortuary but had failed. They expressed hope that one day the SHG women will build these things in their community.

Conclusion

During this year, the SHG programme has continued to strive towards achieving many significant changes for its beneficiaries in KwaZulu-Natal. These include:

  • Improved personal development and savings for almost 8000 beneficiaries;
  • Improved production and processing of craft/farm produce and tourism services;
  •  Improved understanding of business and marketing of crafts and other products.

Overall achievements to date include:

  • Accumulative membership: 7884
  • Total number of Self Help Groups (SHGs): 726
  • Total number of Cluster Level Associations (CLAs): 32
  • Total number of Federations: 1
  • Total amount saved to date: R2 309 062.00
  • Number of loans: 9813
  • Pre-schools/crèches formed: 32
  • Orphaned and vulnerable children programmes: 4
  • Home-based care programmes: 3
  • Libraries: 2
  • Computer school: 1

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