2017 Impact Report

Our 2017 Impact Report is here!

Click to open the report and read about the amazing work we were able to do in 2017, all thanks to your support and donations: Self-Help 2017 Impact Report

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A Message from the Executive Director:


We’ve all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” But even the best trained fishers struggle without a fishing pole. To truly feed their families for a lifetime, men and women must not only know how to fish, but be able to afford the fishing pole.

Your support of our mission in 2017 ensured that Self-Help could offer families both training and the financial resources to put that training into action. Together, we left more than 55,000 people better off in 2017 than they were in 2016.

It’s hard to believe that $8 can change a life. Yet that’s what we saw in 2017: every $8 invested meant one more person drinking clean water, or one more girl getting after school support, or one more boy getting a healthy daily breakfast, or one more mother accessing training and micro-loans, or one more farmer learning how to increase yields and better feed his family.

Your investment created opportunities for grandmothers like Felicia to earn their own income. Thanks to the combination of financial literacy training and access to micro-loans – and a lot of determination and hard work –
Felicia was finally able to build a quality home for herself and her grandchildren, one where they no longer have to share a single room, and can sleep more comfortably each night.

Your investment in teaching communities like Migdalia’s about the importance of clean, safe drinking water, and providing the resources to chlorinate their water system and take ownership for maintaining the system long term, means that 11,000 more people in Nicaragua are leading healthier, more productive lives. Your investment in extending that same water chlorination technology to the sick at San Carlos Hospital is reducing patient infections and improving recovery times every day.

By extending practical training in enterprises such as mushroom production and rabbit rearing with starter loans of mushroom bags or breeding stock, youth groups, individuals, and even inmates at Amanfrom Prison Camp now have marketable skills and the materials to get started. Many of the prisoners lacked a plan for how they would provide for their families once released, yet your support has created opportunities for self-employment.

Your investments gave Fatima something to eat at the start of each school day so she could pay attention to her first grade lessons and have a strong foundation for her education without the distraction of hunger pains, and at the same time offered training in improved agriculture and input loans to her parents, Abdullai and Fatia, so they would be able to meet her nutritional needs long term.

Your investments gave hope to families in despair, and created opportunities for families ready to help themselves. If not for your gift, they would still be waiting for those opportunities. Yet today, they’re not only surviving, they’re thriving – because of you. This report features stories of just a few of those families. We hope you take joy in knowing that you’ve made such a lasting difference!

Thank you for choosing Self-Help International as your partner in impact in 2017. It is truly an honor to work with you to alleviate hunger by helping people help themselves.

Nora Tobin,
Executive Director