Self-Help Groups (SHG)
Self-help groups are comprised of people who share the same problem, life situation or crisis. Members provide emotional support to one another, learn new ways to cope, discover strategies for improving their condition, and help others while helping themselves. People find in self-help groups individuals much like themselves who are able to share pragmatic, experience and tested insights gained from first-hand experience with the same situation.
One important characteristic of self-help groups is the idea of mutual support – people helping each other. Self-help groups can serve many different purposes depending on the situation and the need. For example, in Kenya self help groups; which are often focused on microcredit and income generating activities, have been used as an effective strategy for poverty alleviation, human development and social empowerment.
Over the past several years, self-help groups worldwide have been used in various forms in the disability sector. Self-help groups of people with disabilities and their families are engaged in a whole range of activities including health and well-being, rehabilitation, education, microcredit and advocacy. Belonging to a group (or organization) is one of the principal means through which people with disabilities can participate in their communities and it is through the involvement in groups that they can begin to develop their awareness and the ability to organize and take action and bring about social change. See the following resources from " CBM (the overseas disability charity)" on Self-help Groups best practice and SHG enquiry.
The Goal of SHG
The goal of Self Help Groups is to reduce loneliness and isolation, share information, resolve common problems, enhance individual strengths, and improve the quality of life of participant.