Self Help Development Foundation (SHDF), is a local NGO which works in the area of community development particularly in rural areas with a direct focus on building women’s capacities to become economically self-reliant. The organization was established in 1963 and has gone through continued re-focusing to remain relevant to its members and the operating environment.
SHDF is a capacity building organisation with vast experience, expertise and capacity to assist persons of diverse backgrounds in very wide ranging subjects namely, strategic management for businesses, value chain development, business management for farmers and small enterprises, financial mobilization for small enterprises, internal savings and lending, vocational skills development, and advisory services for agribusinesses. The institution provides various business development services to a varied target group, these include small and medium scale farmers, farmer associations, commodity associations, women’s clubs and associations, leaders of community projects, agro-dealers and communities at large. SHDF has a pool of highly qualified officers who are spread out throughout the country thereby allowing us to conduct several activities simultaneously.
As an organization we work hands on for the development of women and communities through the promotion of self-reliance. 80% of our members are in the rural areas, with 20% in the urban areas. Of the 20 000 club members, 97% are female.
Currently, our focus is on improving the viability of the agriculture sector as a whole with a particular focus on increasing incomes from agriculture. To this end, we are providing capacity building to various actors along different agricultural value chains, such as mentoring of agro-dealers, assisting agro-dealers in financial mobilization, training farmers in farming as a business, providing horticultural marketers with business management skills, securing business loans for farmers, promotion of food processing, output marketing, exposing processors of dried vegetables and fruits to regional export markets.
We are working in over thirty districts of Zimbabwe and we have field trainers working from each district. The districts that we are working in are; Chimanimani, Mutare, Buhera, Mutasa, Makoni, Nyanga, Wedza, Mutoko, Murewa, Goromonzi, Manyame/Seke, Guruve, Mazowe, Bindura, Hurungwe, Zhombe, Shurugwi, Mvuma, Gokwe North, Chivi, Masvingo, Gweru, Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Umzingwane, Gwanda, Bulilima, Caledonia, Harare and Bulawayo.
We have a very strong gender focus with a fully-fledged gender program and have mainstreamed issues around the gender, environment and natural resources management in all our activities.