SHG Program

Mission/objective statement of the program

Mission: To mobilize the poor communities and empower them to bring about sustainable transformation, in the effort of ministering people holistically

Goal: to alleviate poverty among the poor and bring about holistic transformation

Purpose: to improve the spiritual and socio-economic status of the poor in Ethiopia


Year of Induction

CCMD projects in six regions (Oromia, SNNP, Addis Ababa,

Dire Dawa, Amahara and Benshangule) June 2012- June 2016

Buza projects in Oromia and SNNP regions: April 2013–March2018

Adama Community empowerment project: January 2016- December 2020

Convening and conducting food and nutrition security SHG

research projects in SNNP and Oromia

Gamo Gofa Zone Bonke District - Prevention of vulnerable

children at risk project

Adama Housing Project


Project Phase

Currently CCMD projects are in a third phase stepping up towards establishing Church and Community Managed Resource Centres /CCMRCs. The resource centres are about to be established at selected church district levels. These will serve local groups and also neighboring 'satellite' project sites.

  • Since April 2013, in partnership with the Dutch government and Tearfund UK, we have been working towards building food-secure communities in drought prone and conflict areas through the SHG approach. This is currently in  its first phase.
  • Adama community empowerment project is on its fourth phase – going towards the establishment of Community Managed Resource Centres /CMRCs.
  • Since September 2016, in partnership with Tearfund UK and ICCO, we have been conducting food and nutrition security research in three Woredas. In SNNPR: Darashe and Amaro in Segen zone; and in Oromia in Adama Wereda. The research will be of five years duration.
  • This three year project started in 2016 NS works in 10 kebeles of Bonke district with children at risk from trafficking, abuse, violence & exploitation
  • From 2005- 2014 we constructed 300 low cost houses with 20% community contribution in partnership with Dorcas Aid, Tearfund UK and KNH of Germany

Major theme of the program/ project 

The program addresses the following thematic areas through establishing Self-Help Groups (SHGs)

-          Economic Empowerment

-          Value chain development

-          Urban agriculture

-          Health issues like family planning, HIV/AIDs

-          Environmental protection

-          Housing program

-          OVC

-          Child Education and adult literacy

-          Social development and peace building

-          Immigration

 -          Gender           

The Community Mobilization for Development and CCMD

Self Help Groups in Ethiopia were piloted by the Adama/Nazereth Community Development Project from 2002. This Project worked solely in Adama Town and its surrounding areas. It started by establishing five SHGs and now it has 655 SHGs. In Adama town alone there are more than 425 active SHG groups. These are purely community based.

Building on this experience and the lessons learned, the Church and Community Mobilization for Development [CCMD] program expanded the SHG approach to other parts of the country.  CCMD works directly with more than 2,400 local EKHC churches through direct community mobilization with government support.  Up to now more than 12,000 SHGs have been established with more than 256,234 direct and 1,681,847 indirect beneficiaries.

As a pioneer in SHG implementation, and with large SHG numbers, the program is now working to get the SHG approach included as part of one of the major areas of the Ethiopian national development framework. In addition, the program, in collaboration with Tearfund UK, is currently working to influence other SHG implementing agencies to implement the approach using best practice. This is being done through a networking initiative called the SHG Cooperative Network (SCON).

Food Security through SHG

Since April 2013, in partnership with the Dutch government (BuZa) and Tearfund UK, we have been working towards building food secure communities in drought prone and conflict areas through the SHG approach. This is a pilot project which is showing good success and  which is expected to be extended to various parts of the country in the next phases. The target areas have been selected based on the level of poverty and their classification as emergency ‘hot-spots’ by the Government of Ethiopia. Target communities are selected in consultation with local government and civil society.

Under this program, over 46,000 households are expected to be impacted up to mid 2017. Conservation agricultural methods, including 'Farming God’s Way', have been implemented in the gardens and small-holdings of beneficiaries.

Major achievements

Groups typically start saving at 50 cents per member per week but this increases as incomes and confidence increase; currently the highest individual savings throughout the groups are 300 birr per member per week.

Initial loan amounts may be only 2 digits;  now the largest loan taken by a single individual is 100,000 ETB.

These SHGs under different CLAs accounts a direct beneficiary (SHG members) of 256m234. ??

 The total weekly savings across the whole program has reached 46.4 million birr and total groups' capital is 54.5 million birr. The total assets owned by members are currently estimated to be 217.5 million birr. The program is working with partners in order to make all SHG projects  learning centres for other SHG implementing agencies.

Geographic intervention areas

-          Oromia region

-          SNNP

-          Benshangul

-          Amhara

Number of employees and volunteers under the program

-          470 Paid

-          282 volunteers

Number of grad, current and planned beneficiaries

Direct  256,234

Indirect  1,681,847

Partners and primary stakeholders

Tear FundUk


Netherland ministry of Foreign affairs

KNH Germany

Dorcas AID (DIA) Holland

FSCE- Forum for sustainable





Future plan and sustainability strategy of the program/project

- To envision and mobilize local government institutions to support the self-help development approach including providing legal registration of the SHG institution

- To improving gender relationships at individual, family, community and institutional levels whilst particularly empowering women socio-economically

-  To increase and empower the role of Cluster Level Associations (CLAs) to take over the role of nurturing, developing and replicating SHGs.

- To introduce, strengthen and adopt cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions for alternative livelihoods

- To establish Community Managed Resource Centres (CMRCs) to facilitate community conversations and the ongoing learning of community groups/members and to sustain access to the resources required to support ongoing development

 - To implement the shift from 'aid to trade'  by using SHGs as a tool

Pictures of project implementation, people with stories of transformation, geographic area, key staff members and others as appropriate                                  

1.   Kefyalew is 35 years old, and a father of four. He lives in Chelchele Kebele, Gedeb District; Gedeo Zone of SNNPR located 17 km from Gedeb Town. He lives on around a hectare of land on which he grows coffee and enset (false banana).

Kefyalew is a member of ‘Handessa Genet’ SHG, which was established by 12 members in 2013, all of them male. The group meets weekly and each member contributes five birr per week. Their total capital has reached Ethiopian birr 12,000. They have begun giving out loans to their group members at ten percent interest. Most of the SHG group members take loans in order to trade coffee and to fund other household expenses.

Before the ICEP-Gilgal project started work in Chelchele, Kefyalew had no idea about saving. But after joining his self-help group, he received training about saving, started regular savings, and also opened his own bank savings account. This helped him manage his resources, especially his money. Now he has a total capital of twelve thousand Ethiopian birr. He bought 1900Kg of specialty coffee using this money. He also harvested 900Kg coffee from his own farm. With his profits from selling coffee he bought two motor bikes for 39,000 ETB. which he rents out providing daily income of 300.00 birr and above. Kefyalew said ‘Because I am a member of an SHG I learned about saving and my life has changed and my family has started leading a better life’ 

2. Almaz Tesfaye is one of the beneficiaries of Self Help Groups. She lives in Southern Ethiopia in Gedeo zone, Wonago woreda, Tumuma Chirecha Kebele. She is a member of the Ruhama SHG, which is one of the SHGs under Dilla District; she is a married woman with 9 children.


Ruhamma SHG was established in 2010 and has 15 members. Each week they save 2 birr per member and so far they have accumulated 30,000 birr capital. Most of the members have already taken a loan for running their small businesses or to meet a household need. They are paying back their loans properly as laid down in  their group by-laws.  

Almaz, as one of the members of the group, is benefiting from the group. She said when I heard about Self Help Group for the first time, I shared the idea with my family and all the family members agreed about it. Consequently we started family saving. She said “SHG is a way for development”.


She continued explaining how her family benefited from the culture of saving: “all my family members started saving from what they earn monthly”. Finally we accumulated 17,000 birr capital and bought a Bajaj (tukuk) which they use to transport people and goods   As a result, they have increased family income; in addition, it created an employment opportunity for her children. She said “We are not wasting money and time any more”. Currently, in my family we are not thinking and worrying about food and clothing, but about a better life, better wealth creation and self-employment.

3. Degefe Dereso is a father of three children who is a member of Betel SHG, Powe District, Benishangul Gumuz Region. Although he dreamed of transforming his family life, he was not able to find ways to achieve that until he heard about SHGs in 2009. He joined a group and was one of the most active participants in his group. His first loan from the group was  Birr 1000 ETB and he set up a small business. 

He managed to repay his loan and get another loan to expand his business. Today he has his own big shop under the name of “KalebBoutiqe”; he has accumulated capital of more than 100 thousand ETB, and  he has built some houses which he rents out securing a further source of monthly income. 

He explained that “there are many people who have an idea and vision to work however, they don’t know how to start or where to get money. As a matter of fact, when we started our SHG, people told us that saving such small amounts couldn't possibly change our lives but today they are pleading with us to be able to join the group. I changed my family life, and opened bank accounts in my childrens' names. Finally, he concluded that “there is nothing impossible, if we work hard and develop a saving culture. Other poor people can learn from my life and experience”.

4. Mrs Belaynesh Degu was born in Adama town in 1966 E.C. She is married and has three children (two girls and a boy). She attended school only up to grade three. Her parents decided to give her away in marriage at an early age, as is common in their culture. As expected of her, after her marriage, Belaynesh became a housewife. However, her husband’s 3 birr per day salary was not enough to cover their basic needs. In 2007 she learned about SHGs from her relatives and decided to join a group named Edget meaning ‘Development’.  She started saving with her group and was given a loan of 800 birr. Her first business was small scale trading of potatoes and onions With her second loan, of 1800 ETB, she scaled up her business in volume. Using her third loan, 3,000 ETB, she diversified her business to start sheep rearing. Currently, her weekly saving is 50 ETB  and her last loan was 12,000ETB. She is using this money to expand her sheep rearing business. Now she  plans to raise her weekly saving so that she can get a 20,000 ETB loan on her next turn. Mrs Belaynesh also has other responsibilities in her group. She represents her group at the cluster level association and also serves her group as a bank signatory. In addition, she is member of the conflict resolution committee of her group. Belaynesh said with tears in her eyes ‘my life has changed because of my group’ ‘I love my group’ ‘my group is my family’. Her current total saving is birr 8,000.