When I ask about their wishes, the ca. 50 tribal women from Tamil Nadu, India give me a quick response. “Due to the support of a local NGO, the KKF in India and the Karl Kübel foundation in Germany we could found our Self-help groups two years ago. Since then a lot of things have improved: many houses have been repaired. We want to go forward. Sometimes we can work as day workers in the bricklin, we grow goats and sheeps and sell it. We cannot get any loan for big investments – and if so, we have to pay more interests. That’s why we want to generate our own income. But we lack of knowledge, e.g. on how to tailor. We want to produce something, things we can sell, not depend any more on others”. Some of the women have learnt to write and read and participate at educational courses on sanitation, children health and simple account management.
Since a few months they visit the learning center of the KKF on their own, once per month. Their husbands support them. That was different when they started. When they set up the SHGs, about 2 years ago – groups with about 20 members each – a lot of things have changed. The women save money – together within their groups. Rupee by rupee. In the past months they have saved about 800 EUR, means ca. 40 EUR per woman. With proud they show me their saving books “Very soon we want to give loans within our groups, maximum up to 80 EUR for one person: For repairing needs, family urgencies, animal acquisitions, children education and health problems, without taking any interest. As soon as we have enough capital…” But this is not sufficient. The way to get a better professional education is too expensive for us and other needs have to be covered first. We won’t be able to manage this by ourselves – in the next years. The start capital is not there.”
Asking how many women would participate if they were offered a professional tailoring course, 12 women get up spontaneously. “A regular participation would be mandatory, I tell them, and a certification at the end of this course in the next town”. A professional tailor course would cost around 300 EUR – for all. Additionally, three tailoring machines are needed and a basic set of materials.
1500 EUR can make a doifference: These women here should get a chance!.
I have visited this village and the women in the SHGs. I have met them in some health awareness programs at the learning center and talked to them. I have talked to many SHGs here in the surroundings, in very remote villages. The SHGs differ from each other, esp. in terms of self-motivation and self-confidence. This SHG is one of those that believes in the future and want to change for good. And has first success, but it is not enough to create a sustainable marketplace. In April I come back. I would like to visit the first certificated tailor women and see their products. Do you support us? If yes, just click at:
PS: The first 110 EUR have been funded. Thanks to all who made this possible. Still 200 EUR – and the first big step can be financed. Please help. By offering a small amount and/or by sharing this post. Many Thanks!!!