Bishop Francis visits from Malawi

This week has been a very exciting week for all of us at the MicroLoan Foundation and for our supporters; we had a flying visit from Bishop Francis, our local chairman in Malawi. We took this opportunity to invite some of our supporters to the Clifford Chance offices in Canary Wharf, where we hosted presentations from the Bishop himself and Mike Warmington, our Operations Manager.

It was a great opportunity for donors to hear from Bishop Francis as he was able to give a very personal account about how MicroLoan has played a major role in lives of African women. Bishop Francis described the extent of poverty that is seen in Malawi, emphasising that seeing is believing and to truly understand the nature of the situation is to see it first hand. As he is closely connected to Malawi and the MicroLoan Foundation, it does make a difference and although we cannot see it from the UK, it is definitely helping make a difference in the lives of not only women, but their families too, children receive regular nutrition and are sent to school.

Mike went onto to examine the future for MicroLoan. Having just arrived back from Malawi he was able to give an up to date account of his trip and the difficult journey he faced in order to reach clients.

  • We now have more than 20,000 active clients
  • 150 local staff, and set to grow five branches in Zambia.

Mike discussed the key to successful micro loans being client training, to help clients understand and appreciate how to manage money using methods of training that are familiar to them. Furthermore, Mike discussed new ventures, such as Solar and what financial and health benefits they could bring. We are currently in the process of piloting products and methodology in Kasungu & Salima, which we are hoping will be successful in helping the poorest individuals.

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The MicroLoan Foundation is a responsible and non-profit UK microfinance charity that provides microfinance (small loans of on average £70), business education and ongoing mentoring support to impoverished women in sub-Saharan Africa. This provides them with a “hand-up not a hand out” so they can develop self-sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families, and work their own way out of poverty. 99% of the loans are repaid and then recycled in full to help more women year after year.