The numbers are not clear, but we can be confident that there are over eight million self-help groups with over a 100 million members since the idea was first tried in India in the 1980s. It is now at the core of the Indian Government’s anti-poverty strategy.
Noel Matthias took a group of people fighting the effects of poverty, including those living that fight, to India to learn. The result was the formation of WEvolution, an organisation, or a movement to encourage women to take control over their lives.
The primary mechanism is a self-reliant group as they are called here. A small group of women come together. They save. They support each other to be enterprising. A by-product is the way they come to rely on each other socially.
Others in England, Wales and Netherlands have joined the movement to spread self-reliant groups. There are now around a 100.
WEvolution’s collaboration with Ratio is intended to learn how to scale the impact of self-reliant groups, how to scale more women being in control of their lives.