27 Women from Umguza ward 3 received a refresher training on the relationship between the Self Help Group Approach (SHGA) and the Cluster Level Association (CLA) on the 13th October 2022.

 The training facilitated by HOCIC through a Kindernothilfe funded project targeted the Simanyane CLA members who met with their constituent SHG representatives and other groups that included Omama Abathandanayo, Siyanqoba, Onward, Onesisa, Okwethu Ngowezandla, Siyavuka, Siyafisa and Luvelolwano.

The HOCIC team aimed to strengthen Self Help Groups and Cluster Level Associations that are still recovering from COVID-19 effects.

Facilitating the training, SHGA Project Officer, Pesistance Mkwena, explained the relationship between the CLA and SHG saying that the SHG is family based where women focus on uplifting themselves and fighting poverty to sustain for their families. She further explained that the CLA is community-based where women look for problems in their communities and try to find solutions to them.

The training emphasised on the use of CLA funds where she demonstrated the programming and administration use of funds saying the subscription paid by SHGs should help meet administrative needs such as books and stationery, while wise investment covers programmatic needs such as transport and airtime.

In addition, Pesistance Mkwena recapped the three levels of the people’s institution on how they interconnect. She used an example of a hut to explain the correlation between the three levels.

The ‘HUT’ illustration highlighted that the SHGs are the ones who form the foundation which supports the ‘Wall’, being CLA. She said the ‘Wall’ holds up the federation which is the apex of the people’s institution. All these three assist each other. The correspondence is strengthened by feedback from all the three through the reports, where SHG’s state their needs and wants to the CLA’s and the CLA’s give feedback on their progress.

During the meeting, members offered lessons about breast cancer by mentioning symptoms of breast cancer and how women can constantly check on the symptoms by checking for any lumps on their breasts. The members also mentioned the additional benefits of meeting up as women, as they are able to share and discuss issues that concern their families and communities. They also stated that by doing discussions, there are able to figure out solutions to their problems since everyone gets to participate.

One of the members of the SHG said “providing food to my family makes me appreciated by my husband thus reducing cases of gender-based violence.”

providing food to my family makes me appreciated by my husband thus reducing cases of gender-based violence.”

At the end, Pesistance encouraged the CLA members to practice effective communication with the SHG sharing their challenges. By being in touch with the SHGs members, they will also get updates of the new developments hence making the group to function and grow.

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