Self help Group
Hand in Hand Southern Africa follows a self-help group model recognised as the strategic intervention for eradicating poverty in the SADC region. The objective of the SHG model is to to fuel enterprise development through various streams of income generation. A SHG consists of individuals who come together to contribute to a common fund driven by similar economic goals. SHGs consist of members between 7 and 15 working together through empowerment and collaborative participation.
The Durban team has started forming and training individuals having a common interest and goal to start their own SHGs. "Let us work in partnerships between rich and poor to improve the opportunities of all human beings to build better lives." Kofi Anan. Hand in Hand therefore strives to make a difference in capturing the mind-set, educating, empowering and therefore enriching lives of people it serves to build better lives. The work done by Hand in Hand follows the sentiments of Kofi Anan through the above stated quote.
P H O L O S O N G C O - O P E R A T I V E
The Pholosong co-operative started in the year 2015 and it is made-up of five members (three women and two gentlemen). The co-operative (self-help group in our business terminology), was started upon mutual agreement by all its members who had similar business goals. All the members of the group had an interest in the sewing and then came together as a group to materialise their dream.
The co-operative operates from Atterigeville the west of Pretoria, from Jan Alfred Mokobedi's garage - a member of the group. Prior to becoming a co-operative, members were engaged in a number of different projects such as construction and catering. Jan Mokobedi had skills in sewing, but lacked speed and articulation of the women in the group. He then encouraged the group members to form a group. Their first breakthrough as a co-operative was when they got a tender from the department of Social Development to sew school uniforms for schools in and around Pretoria. From that point, school uniforms became their niche in the market. Their business has by far been able to purchase seven industrial machines which has increased their efficiency and profitability.
The group first engaged with Hand in Hand in July and were trained on the reinforcement of a self-help group, managing group finances and marketing their business. Generally, the demand for school uniform is seasonal from January to April each year and the wool used for the sewing tends to be expensive. Hand in Hand filled in a gap by offering the Pholosong Cooperative a loan in December 2017 in order for them to be able to purchase wool. At the time, the demand for school uniforms was high and so the loan came in handy.
Jan was recorded saying that Hand in Hand assisted them a lot when they were in time of need. From that time, Hand in Hand developed a good working relationship with the Pholosong Co-operative. As an organisation we are pleased to have assisted a group that is so determined to succeed. This was profoundly evident by them being the first group to ever repay a loan in record time. Today, the Pholosong Co-operative is considered as one of our beneficial and helpful stakeholders for the mobilisation of our beneficiaries in the Atteridgeville area.