Hope Stories from the West Arsi Self Help Groups

July 31, 2012

Spend a few minutes by reading these encouraging stories from Self Help Group members in West Arsi District, Ethiopia.  The women highlighed have progressed from saving a little to having a savings to starting or improving a business to support their family. Each women is developing a business plan with the help of her SHG. Imagine the joy this experience is bringing to an otherwise hopeless environment. Before they might have wished for a better future; now they have hope.


1. Aster Setegn represents 10 family members. The name of her SHG is Badhadha. In just a short time, she has saved a total of 690 by contributing 10 birr weekly. She currently makes and sells Injera (Ethiopian flatbread) on a small scale but plans to expand her services to local hotels and open a mini cafe in her village.

2. Fatuma Abdo has 5 family members. She is also a member of the Badhadha SHG and has saved 690 birr.  She is looking to expand her corn business and sell the crop on a larger scale.

3. A member of the SHG Menfesawi Aqim, Tadelech Gufti represents 7 family members. By contributing 2 birr weekly, she has a total 365 saved and is planning to sell grain to increase her income and bless her family.

Every Self Help Group member is an inspiration, but those who choose to participate despite the smallest savings demonstrate the potential every person has to pursue their own development. Tadelech is one example. In a country where the vast majority see little hope for change apart from the mercy of unpredictable weather patterns or help from benevolent foreigners, these women are writing a new story for their family and their community.