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Disaster Appeal - Cyclone Idai

Disaster Appeal - Cyclone Idai

An estimated one thousand women supported by MicroLoan and four thousand children in their care are affected by cyclone Idai. They need your help.

MicroLoan Foundation help some of the poorest women across sub-Saharan Africa to become entrepreneurs, build businesses and work their way out of poverty. The onslaught of heavy rain and wind in Malawi has destroyed these businesses.

Nsanje and Chikwawa, located in the southern region of Malawi are two of the worst hit areas. MicroLoan supports around 3,000 women in these districts.

Women have watched the businesses and homes they worked so hard to build wash away. Women like Tamala who joined MicroLoan last year to transform the futures of her three young children. She started a business selling fruit and vegetables. Just as her business started to expand it was destroyed. The floods have ruined her crops, left her business without stock and her home has been pulled down.

“The floods have destroyed my maize crop and the bags that I had stored have been ruined. Buying maize is very expensive and my savings will soon run out.”

– Tamala, MicroLoan Malawi client

Many families just like Tamala’s will be facing the same adversity. MicroLoan clients are part of the poorest segment of the population and many depend on subsistence farming. But with crops, relied upon for survival, now under water, the risk of famine and starvation following a disaster like this is extremely high. This is why MicroLoan’s savings training is vital. We encourage all of our clients to make regular savings so that when terrifying disasters like this hit they have some form of safety net. As a newer client to MicroLoan, Tamala’s savings are still quite small. Despite this, they will provide her with the means to buy small bits of food for her children. Whilst savings provide our clients with essential security in the immediate aftermath, they can’t last forever.

What are we doing to support our clients?

MicroLoan will give the worst affected clients small emergency grants to rebuild safe and secure homes for their children. We will also provide all our clients additional training, mentoring and business loans to restart their businesses.

To support one thousand families in the face of this terrifying disaster we need to raise £70,000.

How can you help?

Pledge and donate today to help raise these emergency funds. This is what is needed to give families the opportunity to piece their lives together.

Margaret's Journey

Margaret's Journey

This Christmas Margaret and her family hope to finally have a place to call home. Like many women, she joined MicroLoan in the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Margaret is the mother to two young daughters.She wants to provide them with the opportunities she did not have. She is striving for a life that is not defined by poverty, but economic and political instability make this difficult to achieve.

With limited employment opportunities in the village where they live Margaret and her husband struggled to provide enough food and send their two young daughters to school.

The family lives with Margaret’s in-laws in a small, overcrowded house to make ends meet.

 “We are young people, we want to grow and develop and build a life for our family but without employment this is very difficult.”

Margaret’s life is undergoing a transformation thanks to the business training, support and loans she is receiving from MicroLoan.

She was one of our first clients in Zimbabwe and started a chicken rearing business with her loans. Margaret and her husband have grown and developed this business over the last year. Their daughters are now able to have regular nutritional meals and attend school.

The business really is transforming the family’s life.

We created Margaret's Journey - a three part video series to bring you closer to our work. Over the next few weeks will we be sharing each episode. In turn, they explore how Margaret's life is changing because of her business.

Watch the first episode 'Educating a entrepreneur' below.

Success story: Maryse Phiri

Success story: Maryse Phiri

Maryse Phiri is the mother of five children and runs a bamboo mat making business to provide for her family.

She has been making mats for over 22 years after learning the skill and trade from her parents. Whilst she is extremely skilled at what she does, before joining MicroLoan she wasn’t able to make it a profitable business. Maryse struggled to feed and educate her children. When she had to pull one of her daughters out of school because she could no longer afford the fees Maryse knew something has to change.

Since joining MicroLoan three years ago Maryse has seen her business develop and grow. Traders from Kasungu, the nearest town, now come to the village to purchase her mats. There are several people in the region who make bamboo mats but Maryse’s mats are particularly popular because she makes them larger and sells them for the same price as her competitors. She has now hired four employees that help her meet the demand for her products.

With her increased income and growing business she is proud to say that the family have enough food and her daughter is back in education, so all her children are attending school.

Watch the below above to find out just how much your support has helped Maryse and her family.