Women of MicroLoan #2 – Olivine Kayamba

It’s not just our clients who have inspiring stories to tell this International Women’s Day. Olivine started working for MicroLoan Foundation 11 years ago as a branch office assistant, before working her way up as a Loan Officer, and now as Branch Manager for our Kasungu Branch. She has seen the charity grown and has herself grown with it, and really understands MicroLoan and our clients. Here, we speak to her about her experiences of working for MicroLoan.

 Can you describe a typical day working with MicroLoan? 

As well as managing the running of Kasungu branch in Malawi, I spend time visiting groups of women. Like our Loan Officers, I travel by motorbike into very rural communities and help providing training to our clients on how to manage their businesses to increase their income, amongst other things.

What do you feel is most important about the work that you do with MicroLoan?

I’m very proud because I have worked with MicroLoan Foundation for 11 years now and I have seen the organization grow.  I have seen lives changed for the better because as women are empowered and earn their own source of income from their businesses, which they can spend on ensuring their families have three meals a day, for example.

What would you say is your greatest achievement whilst working with MicroLoan so far?

Having seen how MicroLoan is growing and reaching more women. Also, MicroLoan employs many people in Malawi and even for me it has changed my life. I am able to support my family, pay school fees for my children etc.

Do you think women’s roles in Malawi are changing at all? If so, how?

Organisations like MicroLoan Foundation are helping women to become more independent and empowered. They are able to plan their lives better because of the source of income they have from their businesses. This is something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Can you describe an influential woman who has inspired or motivated you?

Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa, has really demonstrated that women are capable of doing jobs that previously only men did (especially here in Malawi). Anastazia has chaired 2005/2009 elections here in Malawi and has really shown that she is a woman of justice. She is the first female Chief Justice in the country.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD is a day where women meet together, share their good memories together, even tough experiences women face and share ways forward.