Network Against FGM in Somaliland (NAFIS)


Self-Help Group (SHG) is an informal association of poor community with a common objective of working together for their economic, social development and empowerment. The SHG Approach to development promotes the enjoyment of human rights for all vulnerable and marginalized people, especially the poorest of the poor. It does this by first focusing on the poorest women and their children and then broadening the focus to entire families and communities. The SHG Approach is a bottom-up approach which builds on peoples’ existing capabilities and strengths through the process designed to lead to the empowerment of poor people. This approach focuses on three solid pillars; Social, economic and political empowerment.  All three are required to enable the poorest people to claim and realize their rights as human beings, citizens and as equal participants in civil society.

The self-help group approach is currently working with internal displaced people (IDP) camps in Marodijeh, Sahil and Togdheer region. The project targets these groups because the communities are displaced by conflicts, poverty is abundant, marginalized and limited influence and power of the community. The project expects to embower the people on their rights. Formation of SHG enhanced peoples’ capabilities and assets so that they can make informed choices to take actions and participate in local governance.

SHG is formed of 15-20 members and a total of 8 Cluster Level Association (CLA)-formed when SHG grew in number.

Self Help Groups were trained in the following so as to deliver the results:

  • Roles and responsibilities of SHG and CLA levels – training for all members to understand their roles and the benefits of the project
  • Action planning – ensuring all groups have a mission and vision to work towards
  • Book writers training – increasing understanding on completing SHG books such as loan books and meeting minutes
  • Wise investment in cluster level association (CLA) – trainings provided to CLA members to understand the importance of one-time, non-labor intensive investments

There are currently just fewer than 13,000 women across Somaliland as part of the Self-help groups formed.

Due to the knowledge and trainings provided through the SHG approach. Members achieved the following:

  • Formed over 12,000 businesses
  • Over 80,000 children across Somaliland benefitting from the project
  • Increased awareness on health and hygiene in the community
  • Improved ability to address social issues at the community/village level
  • Contribute to need-based community projects food collection to donor drought effect people
  • Equal status, participation and decision making power at house hold level (Having independent opinion on issues, right to make choices, broader and goal directed thinking, feeling and acting)
  • Enhanced standard of living
  • Increased in Participation in local governance
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