Mothers Self-Help Groups

 

Our Mothers Self-Help Group (MSHG) model is fundamental to our success on the ground. In 2016 there are 175+ groups meeting on a monthly basis with
over 3,500+ members between them.

Each MSHG has a president, secretary and treasurer and monthly meetings are attended by one of our field workers. The group gives mothers an opportunity to share problems and develop supportive friendships.

Each group operates like a credit union. Each mother will save and can benefit from loans from within the group. These are small loans. In addition Nandri provides income generation loans through the group which will change the family’s income and quality of life.

 
 

WHAT IS A MOTHERS SELF-HELP GROUP?


 
 
  • It is a group of mothers, generally between 10 and 20, who meet every month.
     
  • Each mother pays a small membership fee and each mother saves about Rs.100 per month. This is the equivalent to a day’s income.
     
  • They operate like a credit union. One mother will apply for a small loan and the others will decide whether she is a good risk. All of their savings are continually re-lent within the group.
     
  • Most of these mothers are illiterate, but they’re trained to keep records of their subscriptions, their savings and their loans with the help of our staff members.
     
  • Applications for our income generation loans are made through these groups. Each group effectively guarantees the loan of each of its members. If a mother cannot make her repayment, the group will make up the shortfall to ensure the creditworthiness of the group stays intact.
 
 

WHY WOULD A MOTHER JOIN A GROUP


  • It is conditional on the Child Sponsorship Programme that she joins a group.
     
  • We provide training courses in various topics such as sanitation, health and rights.
     
  • Each group becomes like a small family where they lookout for each other and each other’s children. It acts as a platform for women’s solidarity. 
     
  • We employ community healthcare nurses who visit families in their homes. Many illiterate families are not aware that medication or a visit to a hospital could solve a simple medical problem.
     
  • The group provides a structure for administering micro-finance loans.
     
  • Each meeting is attended by a Nandri fieldworker who audits the records and minutes of the meetings kept by mothers. They are vigilant for issues or problems among families and making women aware of their rights in a male dominated society.
     
  • Members provide support for each other e.g. if a child is at risk of being taken out of school, the group reports to the field worker who goes to the family to discuss and make the case for keeping the child in school.
 
 

CASE STUDY


At the first meeting of a newly formed self-help group in 2014 a mother, who has four children, told the group that she was selling one of her 18-month-old twins as she could not afford to keep all of her children.

This was a new group where child sponsorship is not normally available immediately. In this case we agreed to sponsor one of her children, which enabled her to keep the family together. In time she will qualify for a micro-finance income generation loan which will change the family’s situation forever.