On Saturday 5th January 2013, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi had a visit from a very important person… Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. MicroLoan Malawi was chosen by the Malawian government as a showcase example of a microfinance institution for Ms Lagarde to visit, which, in itself is incredible news for us!
In a press release, Ms Lagarde said “Today, I visited a group of women supported by the MicroLoan Foundation of Malawi. I was particularly inspired by their resilience and entrepreneurship.”
In the press release, Ms Lagarde goes on to discuss the difficult recent economic situation in Malawi, where “drought and lower-than-expected foreign exchange earnings have dampened growth and contributed to a spike in inflation in 2012. Notwithstanding the current hardships, many of my interlocutors were confident that the ongoing reforms will turn the economy around – an optimism that I share”. The current economic situation has proved problematic for many of the women we work with, so we all hope that Ms Lagarde’s optimistic view reflects reality.
During her trip, Ms Lagarde visited some of our clients, including Joliet. Joliet runs a grocery shop, and since taking a loan and training from MicroLoan Foundation, her profits have increased so much that she is able to afford to send her children to school. Joliet explained that her parents were too poor to afford to send her to school, but she hopes her children will have a brighter future now that they are being educated.