Family builds new business and new home: Self-Help Groups in action

A mother who was struggling to make ends meet is now running a small business and building a modern house for her family, thanks to Hope for Justice.

37-year-old Aberash and her husband worked as labourers in Ethiopia to support themselves and their six children, but it was tough for them to provide, with so many mouths to feed.

But then with the support of one of Hope for Justice’s community development workers, Aberash joined one of our Self-Help Groups, which empower women through parenting and child protection, anti-trafficking and exploitation, communication and a range of other skills.

Photo shows Aberash with her husband and one of their children

At first, Aberash lacked confidence. But through the group sessions, she learned life-changing lessons about how to form working relationships, identifying needs, saving money, and other skills vital for running a small business.

Aberash benefitted from the Self-Help Group loan system, which helps women become more financially stable. The loans allowed her to begin selling a local soft drink, and then cabbages too. She then bought a cart to help her husband with his work. Another loan, plus the profits from her business, meant she was able to buy some land upon which she is now building a home.

Thanking Hope for Justice for its support over four years, Aberash said: “I was in the dark waiting for people’s support, but Hope for Justice opened my eyes and now not only I am economically strong, but also respected in my community.”

Aberash is now paying back her loans and is looking forward to expanding her business. She also wants to help other women in a similar situation as she once was.

Through education and sensitisation to child protection issues, family strengthening via Hope for Justice’s Self-Help Group model enables greater support for those most at risk of exploitation and trafficking. The model is a long-term, sustainable solution, directed by community members’ own efforts. This approach protects against family breakdown, a major risk factor in child trafficking.

Photograph shows: Aberash and her husband pictured beside the house they are building