Self-help Initiatives in the Dangbe West District of Ghana
Alice A. Ansah-Koi (The Ohio State University) [BIO]
The shift in focus from provision of material support, as opposed to transfer of skills and empowerment has been used as a better approach to reducing poverty and encouraging civic participation. Theories on social capital and empowerment have been used to identify individual and community resources, and how these resources tapped, enhanced, and assisted efforts of communities to solve their problems. Within communities, there are resources such as social knowledge, skills, social networks, reciprocities, and trust that can facilitate coordination and cooperation towards the initiation of self help activities to reduce poverty and raise living standards. Thus, mobilizing individuals and groups to tap these resources for mutual benefits has been key for development initiatives, especially within communities in developing countries.
This paper describes strategies used by the Self-help Initiative Support Services (SISS), a non-profit organization based in Ghana, to mobilize and build capacities through transfer of skills and training, coordination of activities of low-income women in Dodowa, in the Dangbe West District of Ghana. The aim of this effort was to form self-help groups to undertake projects to generate income and improve upon their livelihoods. The strategies pursued to maintain continued involvement, expansion and sustenance of the groups’ initiatives, and lessons learned are discussed in this paper.
Patron: President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer
KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and