Self Help Groups - the magic ingredient in Kalikot

By Cath Taylor

Published 18 Oct 2022

Absara gardening

Since beginning work in the region last year, INF in Kalikot have helped form more than 90 groups of men and women to regularly encourage and equip one another for action. Their reach is wide and varied.

A new Self Help Group member, Absara, shares her experience.

"I am Absara Budha and I am 37 years old.

I have two sons, three daughters and a husband living with my parents-in-law. We are a total of 9 family members.

My profession is subsistence farming. I have reared one buffalo in our house and I work as a daily wage laborer for a living.

Last year INF helped us start a  Self Help Group (SHG) to discuss problems and find solutions for the group and the community. We also collect money from our members to contribute to the emergency fund to provide urgent support to SHG members, who are desperately in need of money.  

We have 25 members in my SHG, including 2 men and 2 women with disabilities, and 2 men and 2 women from dalit families. All together there are 17 women and 8 men.

We discuss different agendas in the meeting and prepare action plans and implement them in the group. Recently we have:

  • prepared locally made emergency bags 
  • stored the grains for an emergency
  • prepared kitchen gardens and planted saplings 
  • constructed pathways
  • conducted sanitation campaigns once a month
  • constructed pits to collect decomposable non-decomposable wastes
  • provided NRs 2000 to support an orphan child from the emergency fund

We are also making it easier for our families to take care of sanitation and hygiene in our homes. At the beginning,  we created drying racks made out of wood for the utensils but now we have built nice and clean cement shelves in front of houses which has made it easy to dry and store our utensils.

Men have always hesitated to do the dishes, but since receiving training about gender with the Self Help Group they have been helping with the dishes and with building the shelves.

I have also started vegetable farming from the package of cabbage seeds which I received from INF. The vegetables have been growing  well and are flourishing.

Overall this project has encouraged me a lot and I thank INF Kalikot from the bottom of my heart."