We encourage all those we work with to be a part of a community group that can be a source of encouragement and support but it also a vehicle for addressing issues in their community so that all who live there can thrive and flourish.
I am now able to save money and take loans when needed. This, I believe, will help me build my career and family, financially
Some become part of a self-help or change agent group. Some become part of a vigilance group that focuses specifically on ensuring children are safe from traffickers.
The men's Self-Help Group (SHG) we helped start in Chennai has overcome a lot of struggles by just being consistent, and working hard researching and learning, despite experts' opinion that men's SHGs are prone to fail. Parthiban, a mechanical engineering student joined the men’s SHG group with lots of hesitation. He worried that it would be waste of his money because of his perception that joining a savings group in a slum community may be a disaster as men in these communities are prone to be irresponsible. However, he was desperate to pay off his student loans as his parents earned only Rs 10,000 per month. The loans were taken from small-scale money lenders who charge steep interests. And the SHG group was his last resort.
Initially, Parthiban took a loan of Rs. 4000 to pay his tuition fees and later took another Rs. 4000 to help his mother set up an idly shop. Through the months, Parthiban saved some pocket money and continued to pay the monthly amount in the group. Parthiban says, "I am now able to save money and take loans when needed. This, I believe, will help me build my career and family, financially."