Self-Help has always been concerned with helping people help themselves; it governs what projects we undertake, where they take place, and what our end goal should be.
We have committed to two countries in the world: Ghana, West Africa, and Nicaragua, Central America.
Educate: We educate the people of the United States to understand the problems of life in developing countries… particularly the awareness of the perpetual struggle by millions to produce and distribute food to battle persistent chronic hunger and poverty; we help tell their story
Train: We train people in developing countries in the use of Quality Protein Maize (QPM). This increases crop yields and improves nutrition. We assist local farm families with planting, cultivation, and the post-harvest problems of storage, processing, marketing, and transport.
Improve: We improve infant and pre-school children’s diets by administering an improved porridge feeding program. Made from QPM and pinches of barley malt, this combination has been proven to alleviate malnutrition, thwart sickness, and keep children in school so they can continue their education.
Empower: We provide micro-credit loans for women to start small scale businesses. This availability of credit empowers women and increases their income – because they do not have access to traditional financing.
Cooperate: We cooperate with other organizations and agencies in the introduction of appropriate farming practices or advancement in the battle against poverty and malnutrition.
These two did not make the “Top 5”… but they are important nonetheless. They represent very positive “unintended” outcomes from Self-Help’s activities in Ghana and Nicaragua.
Training and re-training farmers: Many of our beneficiaries are illiterate, which requires intensive training, education, and review sessions to ensure that the instruction being conveyed is completely understood. SHI’s local staff has the ability to share their knowledge – to mobilize, animate, and instruct groups of farmers and instruct them properly. More than 70% of staff time is devoted to educating and training farmers.
Developing Self-Help staff as leaders: The in-country staff in both countries accepts challenging opportunities which help them to develop skills and tools to become effective leaders. Their strength and depth of knowledge to effectively work with our beneficiaries is evident. The Ministry of Agriculture in both countries invites them to become involved in their own efforts, and share concepts and ideas. Furthermore, the staff is fully aware of the meaning of “self-reliance” because Ghana contributes 23% of its budget annually.Nicaragua contributes 10%. These expectations are met as a challenge and have developed excellent stewards of our precious resources.