The harsh reality of living in poverty #WomenWhoInspire

413 million people across sub-Saharan Africa live in poverty.

The World Bank reports that in 2015 there were more extremely poor people[1] in Sub-Saharan Africa than the rest of the world combined.[2]


Whilst there has been unprecedented progress on a global scale with more than 1 billion fewer people living in extreme poverty in 2015 compared to figures from 1990, the number for this region of Africa is on the rise.  

But what does it mean to live in poverty? Regular nutritious food is scarce, completing education is often an unattainable goal, and access to even the most basic of healthcare is limited. For many of us it is hard to imagine this reality, but for the women MicroLoan Foundation supports no imagination is required.  86% of our clients live below the $2.50 a day poverty line before joining one of our livelihood programmes.

MicroLoan Foundation is committed to supporting some of the poorest and marginalised women across Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe start their own businesses and begin their journey out of poverty.

Kudunzai’s story

For any mother seeing your child unwell is worrying. But even the most common and treatable illnesses can become life threatening when you live hand-to-mouth without access to basic health care. When common colds and viruses pose a threat to your child’s life it’s hard to comprehend how we would fight against severe illness and disease.

Kudzanai Aron is the mother of four. This is four mouths to feed, clothe, protect and educate, all under the pressure of not knowing how or when she will next earn an income.

When her eldest son was an infant he contracted meningitis. This infectious disease can have tragic outcomes even when you aren’t plagued with the restrictions of living in poverty. Unable to easily access medical advice or treatment Kudzanai’s son’s condition worsened.

Incredibly, her son survived but the disease left him profoundly deaf.

Kudzanai did not want her son’s disability to limit him. But with few employment opportunities available she struggled to afford the extra care and support he needed. She hoped to provide all her children with an education, but the specialist education for her son was too expensive.

MicroLoan Foundation launched operations in Zimbabwe in 2017 and Kudzanai joined one of our first loan groups. This support is transforming her family’s life. Using her training and loans Kudzanai has built a business growing and selling tomatoes and beans. The income relieves the pressure of providing for her family. She has been able to save for her children’s school fees. Thanks to your support Kudzanai is turning her dream into a reality.

Her son is now attending Emerald Hill School for the Deaf, a boarding school committed to providing high quality education to the deaf community. He ranks as one of the top students in his class. Kudzanai is extremely proud of his progress.

The Women Who Inspire

The number of people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa may outweigh the rest of the world but with your support we can start to change that.

Kudzanai is just one of the inspirational women MicroLoan supports.

You can help us reach even more women by celebrating those who inspire you.

International Women’s Day is on March 8th and we are creating a chain of kindness. Join us by donating in the name of the #WomenWhoInspire you. This could be a friend, colleague, family member or teacher. Together, you will be helping another inspiring woman living in sub-Saharan Africa on her journey out of poverty.

Celebrate the #WomenWhoInspire you


[1] those living on less than $1.90 a day

[2] Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018 – Piecing together the poverty puzzle

[3] Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018 – Piecing together the poverty puzzle infographic