The Self-Help Initiative for Sustainable Development (SHIFSD) is a refugee-inspired, non-sectarian, non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO).
SHIFSD was founded in the Central Region of Ghana by three Liberian Refugees on November 11, 2000 in the face of UNHCR’s severance of all humanitarian assistance (June 2000) to Liberian Refugees within the West African Sub-region. On October 11, 2001, SHIFSD registered under the Companies Code 1963 (Act 179) of the Republic of Ghana, and was later recognized by its Department of Social Welfare (DSW) as a humanitarian organization in January of 2004, with registration numbers G-8898 and DSW/2003.The organization first started with the name People United to Serve Humanity (PUSH), but changed it 10 months later to SHIFSD since the new name, as it was believed, better represents the self-help value of the organization. Today, the organization is duly incorporated as well as accredited in Liberia and has relocated its office to Monrovia, Liberia.
SHIFSD works for a just community in which all people have equal access to education and resources.
SHIFSD exists to reduce social causes of poverty through access to education and economic empowerment. We believe that through ensuring access to education and economic empowerment, SHIFSD will be contributing to the fight against poor governance, human rights violations, gender disparity and the lack of resources which breed social imbalances, abject poverty and conflicts. We believe also that sustainable development is inextricably linked to the active promotion of Human Rights.
Our core values are:
- Gender equity
- Good governance and accountability
- Respect for human rights
- Shared leadership
- Learning – Our willingness to share experiences, lessons learnt and best practices with like-minded organizations in order to help strengthen organizational capacity.
- Integrity- We strive to promote the ethical dimension of leadership and sincerity in our intervention efforts.
- Disciplined responses- we strive to build a work culture that is strategic and consistent with our mission.
Areas of Intervention:
Our main areas of intervention are:
- Sponsorship of basic educational programs including peace-building, trauma counseling, HIV/AIDS and computer literacy for our school children with a focus on the girl child
- Sponsorship functional Adult Literacy Programs with focus on women
- Management of workshops, seminars or symposia for youth, parent-teacher associations, and others, particularly in areas of gender and participatory school governance
b) Economic empowerment:
- Micro-enterprise development with focus on promotion of local materials
- Provision of access to entrepreneurial skills training
- Sourcing and distributing of re-furbished used tools (e.g. sewing machines) for entrepreneurial purposes
- Leadership training
Core Program Objectives:
Our core program objectives are to:
- Increase access to education for underprivileged people in specific communities in Liberia with special focus on youth
- Improve school performance and community participation in school governance
- Increase youth civic responsibility and nationalistic pride through educational activities on gender, health, human rights, peace-building, and environmental care
- Increase micro-enterprise development opportunities for disadvantaged people
- Enhance youth and adult leadership skills and self-confidence through training and access to information.
SHIFSD has initiated its operations in the South Eastern part of Liberia.
SHIFSD’s target beneficiaries are: the youth, refugees and women in deprived communities, aged 18 to 35.