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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rajamma's journey out of poverty began with a self-help group

Mornings were always difficult for Rajamma, a mother and sole income earner for her family of five living in one of the poorest areas of rural India.

As the sun rose over Rajamma’s dilapidated little home each morning, so would her anxiety. How would she feed her family? Would she be able to hire herself out as a day labourer and earn a few rupees to buy food for her children?

Amongst all this uncertainty, one thing was certain; Rajamma and her family were trapped in poverty.

Like much of rural India, the area where Rajamma and her family live is incredibly poor. The majority of families struggle to eke out a living. Some live on as little as one or two dollars a day.

Over the past few decades, HOPE International Development Agency donors have helped thousands of families in rural India in their journey out of poverty.

Thankfully, we were also able to help Rajamma and her family.

Rajamma’s journey out of poverty began when she joined a self-help group in her community.

The group provides mutual support, including skills-training, instruction on how to start small businesses that generate a sustainable income, and small loans to build modest, but sturdy homes and support the creation of small businesses.

In addition to helping members transform their lives, the community also benefits from the presence of the group, through activities such as health-training, medical referrals, camps for schoolchildren, vocational skills-development, kitchen garden training, and meetings with local government officials to advocate for the needs of the community.

Today, Rajamma and her family are thriving rather than barely surviving.

Rajamma and her family live in a safe, sturdy home built with a loan from her self-help group. Her foot mat business, established with training she received and a small loan, is thriving and generating the sustainable income her family needs to continue lifting themselves out of poverty. She is meeting her goal of having her family be self-reliant and free from poverty.

Rajamma feels blessed by what has happened to her family and we celebrate with her. At the same time, we recognize that thousands of families have not yet received the opportunity to transform their lives.

You can give a gift today that will help ensure that another family will get the help they so desperately need in order to start their journey out of poverty.