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MicroLoan Foundation is expanding its farming
training programme which runs alongside its
business training and support. The vast majority of
the female entrepreneurs who take out business
loans also run a small subsistence farm and therefore
benefit from this practical farming knowledge. For
example, many of their clients purchase fertiliser
but do not know how to apply it effectively. The
increase in quality and yields
helps these women to feed
their families; alleviating
hunger and poverty.
MicroLoan Foundation also
encourages the formation of
farmer group cooperatives
to stimulate community
knowledge sharing.
The impact of giving
women agricultural loans
and training is huge. Giving
women access to financial
opportunities, education
and employment reduces
household poverty. 90% of
women will invest
their income back
into their families
and when a woman
controls the family
budget her children
are more likely to
survive.
M i c r o L o a n
Foundation currently
works with 30,000
women in Malawi,
Zambia and Zimbabwe. One of these women is
Selina.
She is a 56 year old widow with 9 children
and before joining MicroLoan Foundation her
family's life had been a daily struggle to survive.
Living off her husband's modest income, they were
unable to afford fertiliser, so their crop of maize
failed and when her husband passed away, Selina
just didn't know where to turn for help.
Since her first loan with MicroLoan
Foundation, Selina has started a small business
selling fritters (maize doughnuts), meaning she can
now earn a regular income and more importantly
save for when times are even harder. Last year,
Selina took out a farming
loan which provided training
and enough fertiliser,
pesticides and seeds to
successfully farm her small
plot of land and increase her
yields. Maize is the staple
food in Malawi and Selina
needs to harvest over 36
(50kg) bags of maize a year
to be able to feed her family.
In the past when famine has
struck she has struggled to
provide for her family, but
with the help of the farming
loan and training, she has
now been able to stockpile
over 10 bags of maize from
her previous harvest. With
this and her savings she now
feels more confident that her family will
be able to survive difficult times ahead.
In a region where one in ten
children will die before the age of five,
the support given to these women by
MicroLoan Foundation can help a family
survive.
There are millions more families in
sub-Saharan Africa in need of support and
MicroLoan Foundation wants to reach
them, but they need your help.
Please donate to MicroLoan Foundation
today and your gift can transform the lives of
women and children like Selina and her family.
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mages: Micoloans