The Gulab Self-Help Group in Kapilvastu District in Western Nepal is an example of grass roots community action that works. The group began four years ago and now has 27 members who meet fortnightly to discuss important issues that affect their community.

Topics range from natural disaster preparedness, health and hygiene, ways to assist those with disabilities, and education and environmental concerns. The group is also financially investing for the future.

At each meeting members donate 20 rupees to an emergency savings fund. To date, they have saved 25,000 rupees. The group recently decided to invest funds into building waterways throughout their village whereby protecting their houses and roads from flooding in the monsoon. They had saved enough to pay for one third of the project’s costs and INF covered the remaining amount by purchasing bricks and sand for construction. Members worked hard and the waterways were built within 12 days, perfectly timed for the start of the rainy season.

The Gulab Self-Help Group has plans to build a toilet in every household. They hope to create a cleaner environment across the village through educational training sessions on health and hygiene.

Self-Help Groups play a key role in INF’s Community Health and Development  work across hundreds of communities in Western Nepal.