TotallyMoney’s corporate parent Media Ingenuity has teamed up with the MicroLoan Foundation, a microfinance charity which helps hundreds of women in rural Africa. As well as administering small loans, they provide training and advice – helping African women support themselves and their families.
Here Peter Ryan – CEO and founder of the MicroLoan Foundation – gives us some insight into the charity’s work.
Deep in rural Malawi, women are struggling to feed, clothe and educate their families. Living on the equivalent of what for you and I would be £0.80p a day, it is hardly surprising.
With no social security, they have no option – it is either ‘trade or die’.
They form themselves into groups of around 10 to 15 women, decide what businesses they want to create and then go meet the MicroLoan Foundation – a UK Charity operating in Malawi.
The loan managers take reference, check their business ideas are viable and then go to see the village headman to get the community support. Each woman is given meticulous training, marketing, pricing cash flow – eight sessions in all. Not desk bound but plenty of role play and totally adapted to the local culture so it’s fun.
A key element is how the group should support one another in times of difficulty. That’s important, because if one idea runs into difficulty or a lady falls ill, another lady will offer support to see her through. Community spirit at its best!
In a ceremony accompanied by much singing and laughter, each lady receives her loan. Anything from £5 to £250, the average is £70 and then they are away. 80% of what MicroLoan does is training, mentoring and support, so it is hardly surprising that over 98% of the loans are repaid in full. Try getting that service from your bank.
These loans change lives, put food on the table and what’s more important, raise human spirits.