The WESM Project
MicroLoan is working in partnership to build resilience against climate change
MicroLoan is working in partnership with Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM) to support families impacted by climate change. WESM seeks to support and educate families living close to forest reserves to prevent exploitation of natural resources. Many of the families in these communities live in extreme poverty. They rely on two things for survival. Subsistence farming and selling charcoal and firewood cut from the forest reserve. This is the only way they know how to provide for their families. But the use of wood from the reserve causes deforestation, soil erosion and is pushing communities further into poverty.
MicroLoan works with WESM to not only provide education to the people living near the reserves but also to offer them alternative livelihoods to prevent this deforestation.
Alice and Potifala, a success story
Alice her husband Potifala live with their three children on the outskirts of the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve in Malawi. Like many in their village the couple survived by relying on the scarce natural resources around them. They generated a small income from selling firewood.
Alice joined a MicroLoan group so she could find a way of creating a more sustainable and reliable income. Using her business training and loan she has built a successful dried fish selling business.
Prior to joining MicroLoan Alice and her husband earned just £20 a month and struggled to provide the basics for their children. Now thanks to their business, the couple increased their income to nearly £200 a month.
Life is starting to change for Alice and her family. She and Potifala are creating a sustainable and expanding business. As they move out of poverty, they become more resilient to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Something that will help them create a brighter and more secure future for their young children.
Across Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, there are still many more families struggling. They need your help.
How can you help?
Pledge and donate today on Work for Good. Even a small donation of £22 from your business will help a woman like Alice move herself and her family out of poverty.
HRH the Princess Royal presents MicroLoan with an award
MicroLoan Foundation support some of the poorest women across sub-Saharan Africa. We provide these women with small affordable loans, financial literacy and business training and mentoring allowing them to start businesses and earn an income. Over time the money they generate from their business helps to ensure food security, improve housing, access to healthcare, and an education for their children. Our largest operations are based in Malawi where we support over 30,000 women
Earlier this year severe floods and Cyclone Idai ravaged southern parts of Africa and the government in Malawi declared a state of disaster. An estimated 85,000 people in the country were displaced as homes and businesses were destroyed. In the worst hit regions of Nsanje, Mulanje and Chikwawa MicroLoan supports over 3,600 people.
To help rebuild the client’s lives and allow them to continue their journeys out of poverty, MicroLoan launched an emergency appeal to raise funds. In just over a month £70,000 was raised by our supporters.
Last week the MicroLoan team were recognised at the Scotland Malawi Partnership Members Awards for our work in supporting victims of the cyclone. In the presence of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, the awards celebrated the strong links between Scotland and Malawi.
What are we doing now?
We continue to work in Malawi, as well as neighbouring Zambia and Zimbabwe reaching poor rural communities helping the women there to opening businesses and being their journeys out of poverty.
How can you help?
Pledge and donate today to help MicroLoan reach even more women in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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.