Helping women in Africa to work their way out of poverty by giving hope, not handouts

Helping women in Africa to work their way out of poverty by giving hope, not handouts

There are almost 800 million people in the world struggling to survive on less than £1 a day. 70% of them are women. Over half live in sub-Saharan Africa.

MicroLoan Foundation wants to change that. By helping women to help themselves, their work has a lasting impact on the lives of families in sub-Saharan Africa. Through small loans, business training and on-going support, MicroLoan Foundation helps women to set up small businesses. They work with the poorest and most vulnerable women in the world, giving them the chance build a better future for themselves and their families.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 145 million women are unbanked, with little or no access to finance. So for some of MicroLoan’s clients, this is the first time they have ever had financial responsibility and independence; this new gives them status and voice within the house, and an opportunity to decide where income is spent.

Women reinvest 90% of every dollar earned into their families’ education, health, and nutrition. This means that working with women has a wider impact on communities in some of the poorest areas in the world. Since 2002 MicroLoan has helped over 150,000 women, resulting 600,000 children being given the chance of an education and the opportunity to build a better future for next generations. 86% of clients with school-aged children have reported that they are all receiving an education.

Olipa Zimba’s mother joined MicroLoan joined MicroLoan 7 years ago when Olipa was just 10 years old. Here’s what she had to say about MicroLoan’s work,

 “My life has changed so much since my mother started taking loans from MicroLoan to do business. My elder brother failed to go further with his education due to lack of money, but it is a different story for me.” 

Olipa Zimba, 17 years old, Tamandani, Malawi

MicroLoan teaches these women how to save as insurance against future crop failure, family illness and other unpredictable situations. 97% of women have started saving after joining a MicroLoan group, compared to 11% before. Savings give them confidence in their ability to weather whatever life throws at them. In countries such as Malawi and Zambia where MicroLoan operate, which are prone to natural disasters, savings can mean survival for families hardest hit by floods, droughts and food shortages.

When the loans are repaid, the money is recycled and used over and over again to support more female entrepreneurs. With repayment rates over 95%, a donation to MicroLoan is a gift that keeps on giving, well into the future.

The saying, “give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life” is a principle MicroLoan Foundation goes by. Teaching women how to set up their own business rather than giving them a handout gives them a sustainable solution. It gives them opportunities and hope.

Paola Diana, Founder Sigillus

Posted on April 6, 2017, in Events, Lifestyle & Concierge