Nagaad initiated and supported the establishment of 66 Self Help Groups (SHG) in six regions (11 SHGs per region), and, at the same time, provisionally trained in financial literacy, such as, Record Keeping, Cash control, Group Dynamics, feasibility Study, Marketing and marketing means, this has created positive effect on women’s confidence. The project also trained the same 66 SHGs from January to October 2015. The project also gave the newly established SHGs a literacy and numeracy classes in order to improve their knowledge and capacity.
The formation of support networks and market access has enabled women SHGs to play a more active role in household decision-making and has helped them increase family food security through increasing expenditure on their children’s nutrition and education. This in turn has strengthened their ability to challenge and try to change gender inequalities in their households.
The combination of women's increased economic activity and increased decision-making in the household may lead to - according to project beneficiaries - a wider social and political empowerment. It may also give them greater confidence and sense of self-worth. The increased income indirectly reduces high infant mortality and morbidity rates especially the high under five-mortality rate among women in Somaliland. This is very important because individual women who gain respect in their households may then act as role models for others, leading to a wider process of change in community perceptions.
The following are a number of success stories as a result of this intervention:
Jawaahir is a mother of five children - two boys and three girls. She lives in Sancaani IDP (Internally Displaced People) site, south-west of Hargeisa; she is the bread winner of her household, her husband passed away six years ago. In 2014, she established a small shop in the IDP to sustain the livelihoods of her family. Shestates that “I opened the shop to get food and water for my children....there were almost a hundred shops in the camp, so the chance of people (customers) coming to such a newly opened business is very small”.
On March 2015, Jawaahir became a member of a Self help Group group consisting of 20 women formed by Nagaad. . Fortunately, she has been elected to be the chair person for the first six months. She also received a grant of $200 from the group (The grant was firstly provided by Nagaad).
On August 2015, Jawaahirs' first son tried to migrate illegally to Europe, but she convinced him of the dangers of illegal migration and that she would instead open a business for him. She went to the group and asked for a loan from their savings. The group accepted her request and granted her a loan of 1,000,000 Somaliland Sh. She invested in another business where she established a small pharmacy in the IDP camp. Her son is now managing the pharmacy.
Jawaahir is very thankful to her group and to Nagaad and Oxfam. Her life has changed, she expanded her shop, and she sent her young children to Qur'anic school. She is very happy.
Amran is a 46 year old women living in Borama district. She is HIV positive and has eight children. Her husband died from AIDS two years ago. She has a small grocery near Analena Hospital in Borama. Amran sells vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, onion etc. to the local people. Unfortunately, her business is stagnant. . The problem is that when people find out she is HIV positive they avoid her and her business. run away.
Talking about her livelihood, Amran said “It is usually very tough to live with HIV, where no one is ready to support you and your family. Nobody likes a person who has HIV." While giving this interview Amran was crying. This is an indicator of how people living with this disease are stigmatized.
Amran generates from her small business a daily income which is around 10,000 to 20,000 SL.Sh (equivalent to $1.5 to $3.5 US Dollars). She said: "You can imagine a household of nine people living on three dollars a day, what kind of food will they eat?!"
Amran is a member of Alla-Wakiil Self-Help Group. She is very excited to be part of this group and hopeful that this social connection will help her interact better with the people. She received credit and savings training along with the other entire group members, and she is also waiting to receive loans to expand her small business.
Hussien is the father of a family of 11 consisting of four daughters and five sons. They were temporarily residing in Dulcad Refugee Camp before they were relocated to Gogaysa near Gabiley. In 2007, as a result of draught, , the family migrated to Hargeisa where they joined the residents of State House IDP site. Father Hussien uses a wheelbarrow to look for income for his large young family who are all below the age of nine. His total earnings are around 15,000 SL SH per day.
In desperation, Hussein came came to Nagaad requesting financial assistance. He requested a donkey and cart for delivering water to households and businesses where he can earn a secure income for his family. . Nagaad purchased the donkey and cart for him at a cost of 3,000,000 SL SH (equivalent to around $350 USD). . As a result, , Hussien can now provide three daily meals for his young family.