Self-help groups (SHG) start with the poorest households in the community Members in an SHG are from the same socio-economic background to ensure homogeneity and affinity for the proper and continual functioning of the group. The features of self-help groups have been developed to ensure the effective growth and development of the group. The functioning of SHGs is unique in nature and the principles governing the functioning of SHGs have to have adhered to by a group of members are facilitated in developing their own rules and regulations for the purpose of maintaining discipline in the group responsibilities are shared by all members to ensure participation and capacity building of every member.

As an individual, poor people are often voiceless, powerless, and vulnerable by bringing them together as a group, they gain tremendous strength in collective thinking and adds a lot of value to individual thinking by the end of this session, the people have a first idea of what a self-help group is and what the advantages of being a self-help group member are. They understand why it is important that there is homogeneity among members (to start with the poor) and the relevance of “self-help” for their own lives. A group of 15 women belongs to a self-help group the women decided that each of them contributes a savings of $1 weekly.

Functions of SHG

  • Saving
  • Internal lending
  • Discussing problems
  • Maintaining books of accounts and records
  • Linkages and networking
  • ┬áCapacity building
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Goal setting