Self Help Groups

Books in the hands of moms, babies and toddlers!

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Research has shown that early exposure to books shared with a loving caregiver creates the foundation for successful reading!

WEEMA International, in partnership with Reach Out and Read, is piloting an innovative program with our women's groups.  Four Self Help Groups (SHGs) each received a box of 20 different colorful board books selected with care for the local context. Each member takes home a book every week and engages with her children at home by reading together- pointing, interacting over the photos and drawings, etc. She then swaps for a new book the following week. After 20 weeks, the groups will exchange boxes with another SHG group.

The women are thrilled about this program. WEEMA will continuing working to get books in the hands of moms, babies and toddlers.

Enjoy the video below to see these books in action!

Growing by Working Together

Kebebush Barena is one of twenty women in the WEEMA Self Help Group Hunjenten Letneam (Growing by Working Together). Established in 2014, the group practices saving with each individual contributing three birr per week. Savings are pooled to provide microloans to members, and may also be lent to members' families for financially constraining life events.

"Before joining my group, I used to stay at home and rely on my husband’s income to support my family of seven. Since I didn’t contribute to household income, my participation in decision-making was very minimal." Kebebush explains. 

"Now, I am confident and bold enough to speak in front of any one. I have more responsibilities outside home, and understand how to better support myself."

Kebebush is one example of how WEEMA Self Help Groups empower women to create secure, sustainable futures for themselves and their families.