It was an honour to meet these courageous mothers who are fighting for a better future for their children. Empowering women has shown to be an effective way to affect change (and I'm not surprised). One way @worldvisionindia does this is by establishing Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the area. @learnwithplayathome asked one of the ladies how these groups typically form, and they said there are usually 2 or 3 that are really keen so it starts there, and then others who want to join can (up to about 15-20). Members have to want to be part of it (not forced) or it won't work. World Vision teachers them how to run it and offer support along the way but the members own it. World Vision is all about partnering, not just giving. It's about empowering, not controlling. So the onus is on the people being supported rather and that contributes to long term (true) positive change.
The SHGs meet monthly to discuss issues, and also put money aside as a group into savings. For example, one group explained they all put 100 rupees in each month, that's 15 of them, so 1,500 rupees is saved each month. This means the women have a pool of funds to access and don't need to go to the money lenders when unexpected expenses arise. Getting caught in a cycle with money lenders is a very big issue here. It's all very official. Members can't just loan money from the pool whenever. You have to apply for the loan, through the group process. The SHG discuss it together at the meeting, agree on the outcome and record everything carefully. As they explained it all, I could see what pride they take in their groups.
One group share they are doing so well, they are able to support the children's club with snacks, so they aren't just helping each other, but giving back to their community. These women have to fight so hard for their children to give them better futures, and they are. They are amazing. #wvaindia #wvabloggers