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Making Woman in Qaranri self-reliant through Self Help group approach: Deeqo’s experience

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Concern
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Deeqo Salad Mohamed, aged 35, is a widow mother of four children (a boy and three girls) lives in Qaranri village. The father was the only one contributing to the household income. this wasn’t enough for the family sustenance so, Deeqo started going to the forest to collect firewood to sell and increase family income. She would walk up 10km to sell the fire wood in Belet-hawa town market btaining an average of 3 USD every two days (thus 1.5 USD/day) which is insufficient to cover the households daily basic needs. This made that most of the time Deeqo and her children rely on humanitarian aid for their income as they do not have variety of income generating options in her locality.

Due her extreme vulnerability, Deeqo salad was among the selected beneficiaries for the establishment of the Self-help Groups in Qaranri in 2019. Deeqo expressed how the literacy and numeracy classes and the SHG concept sessions brought change to her life: “Every Thursday, we held group meetings and contributed one dollar to the saving group; this was then followed with discussions of addressing the problems raised by the members. This has really brightened how I deal with my family difficulties.”

Self Help Group meetings serve many purposes; it is a meeting place and a learning platform for all the members to exchange ideas, discuss common problems, take decisions on group activities, increase cohesion amongst the members and strengthen the group level connectedness. Following the second training module (initiation to savings concept), members also initiated a small internal loan system that provides opportunity for the growth of their petty business. The 1st instalment cash injection was given by Concern World Wide on the 3rd of June, 2020

Deeqo salad took a loan of 55 USD from the group savings and started to operate a small income generation activity where she sold different kind of whole grains in Belet-hawa market and used her income to improve food availability for her household. “In fact the little food we had has increased well. Most of the time, my kids are now able to eat twice in a day and also I am able to raise the group savings from this small business Deeqo Salat in her compound with CWW staff on 14 June 2020

I started.” Deeqo says. “Before I used to stay home looking after my kids with nothing to eat sometimes but now the number of working days increased substantially after joining the SHGs. Getting of loan and repaying of loan is also a good norm that we have adopted”. Deeqo adds. Deeqo now generates an average income of $1.5 to $2 even though her income has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

The DFID funded programme Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS II) aims to support and accompany vulnerable Somali communities and systems on their path to restoring and strengthening their resilience to shocks and stresses. Supporting Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) has become a component of work under BRCiS, and Concern Worldwide commissioned The Share Trust –to develop a scalable plan for investing in the SHG ecosystem in Somalia

Published by Abdikarim Ali, BRCiS NRC Communication and advocacy coordinator