In Malawi more than 70% of the population live in extreme poverty. They struggle to feed their family, send their children to school and take them to the doctor when they fall ill.
Jane knows exactly how that feels. She lives in a small village in Malawi and was just 17 when she had her first child. The pressure of being a young parent soon intensified when she and her husband divorced. She was left to raise their two young daughters on her own. Living in a remote rural area where employment opportunities are extremely limited, Jane struggled to provide even the basics like food and shelter. The family often went to bed hungry.
As the sole provider Jane strived to find a way to redefine her family’s future. She dreamt of life with more choices for her daughters. Jane joined a MicroLoan Foundation loan group and her life began to transform.
She received a small start-up loan and through the power of song, dance and role play Jane accessed MicroLoan’s unique training sessions. She gained the knowledge and developed the skills needed to a run a business.
Four years on, Jane is now a successful business owner. Her entrepreneurial spirit and hard work helped turn her small wood trading stall into a successful timber trading business. When she first joined MicroLoan Jane was barely able to feed her two children. Her family no longer goes hungry and they have a safe place to call home. For the first time in her life she can feel safe knowing that she can now afford to provide a secure home for her children and take them to hospital if they fall ill.
Maximising our impact
By working with women we maximise social impact and Jane is a perfect example. Her financial stability allows her to help others. She has adopted four children, whose parents could not afford to look after them. In Malawi it is common for families to marry off their children at a young age to relieve the financial burden. Children move away from their homes, often end education early, have children and begin a cycle that keep them trapped in poverty. After seeing so many parents in her community struggling to provide for and keep their children safe and healthy, Jane made the choice to bring these children into family.
It is Jane’s dream to open a big hardware shop and make enough money to give all six of her children a good education. This will also allow her to provide jobs to others in her community, so they in turn can support their families.
There are many more women like Jane. We need your help to EmpowerHer. Together we can spark a change that echoes for generations.
£40 will provide a start-up loan enabling one woman to set up a small businesses and independently generate income.
£121 will provide loans and the same financial literacy and business training that Jane received to one aspiring female entrepreneur for an entire year.