Micro projects and work camps
Work Camps, formed by SHG members, improve infrastructure in rural communities. The work to be done is decided by the members themselves and then executed. This ensures that the project proposals are truly required by the community and is a step toward self-empowerment.
The members have found that they can reduce administrative costs by planning and submitting proposals for minor physical infrastructure problems themselves,rather than waiting for the attention of government or other officials. Not only do the micro-projects teach participating members about microfinancing, but the members become agents of social change in their communities while simultaneously building capacity.
Work Camp, Kanchamuga Katrampakkam, AVAG 2015
- Through the existing SHG framework of women’s and men’s groups, AVAG partners with villagers to make small, one-time investments to support these projects; including cleaning a library, clearing paths of thorny bushes,and trimming trees interfering with electrical lines.
- Women have gained much respect from their male counterparts for participating in these traditionally “male areas” of work. This is an important part of the gender sensitization process.
- The AVAG Micro-Project programme has attracted the attention of neighbouring NGOs that regard it as an innovative approach to addressing the small but persistent infrastructure problems that plague village life.
In the year 2013-14 there were 11 work camp events involving 13 SHGs with 105 women and 133 men.