Life

Microfinance could be the ANSWER to the coming era of DEVASTATING post COVID poverty

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By: Medha Wilson, Group CEO, Microloan Foundation

“The magnitude of suffering is alarming. It is incumbent upon all of us to act now and to act fast to save lives, safeguard livelihoods and prevent the worst situation”, said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.
Hunger is widespread in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Pre-existing food insecurity has been compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many women and children are living on less than $1.25 per day.
With access to finance and training on core business skills and financial literacy, women can build small businesses. A steady income enables women to provide food security, better housing, access to healthcare, and an education for their children.

Medha Wilson, the superachiever CEO of the MicroLoan Group

Joining a MicroLoan group allows women to take their first steps out of poverty. MicroLoan Foundation works to give women agency and autonomy over their own lives. With small loans and ongoing business training and mentoring, women are able to become self-sufficient for their daily needs by building businesses such as farms, grocery stores or hairdressing salons.

The training MicroLoan provides ensures that women are equipped to manage their finances and create sustainable enterprises that will help them to generate an income. They also learn the benefits of reinvesting their profits, and are encouraged to make modest savings to provide insurance against future crop failure, family illness and other unpredictable situations. Due to high illiteracy rates, MicroLoan’s training is taught through song, dance and role play.

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MicroLoan have been working with women in sub-Saharan Africa since 2002, supporting a total of 280,000 women to begin their journeys out of poverty. As a result, an estimated 1.12 million children have had increased access to nutritious food, healthcare and an education.

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However, the United Nations report finds COVID-19 is reversing decades of progress on poverty (source: https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/sustainable/sustainable-development-goals-report-2020.html) , and many more women like Evelesi are in urgent need of MicroLoan’s support.

Evelesi, from Malawi.



Evelesi was born into a family living in poverty in Malawi. She grew up without the most basic necessities such as regular meals and clothes. She left school at age 12, and became a mother at the young age of 15. Evelesi now has ten children, and is financially responsible for her sister and her mother too. Despite this huge responsibility on her shoulders, she has always been determined to ensure that none of her children endure the hardships she did growing up.

Before she joined a MicroLoan group six years ago, Evelesi was already an aspiring entrepreneur selling cassava locally. However, sales were extremely slow, and there were barely enough customers to turn a profit. She joined MicroLoan for additional capital as well as the business and financial literacy training she needed to flourish as a businesswoman.
Equipped with the tools and skills to build a sustainable and profitable enterprise, Evelesi was able to grow her cassava business and expanded by opening a grocery store. The store was well-stocked and highly popular, so she was able to further diversify her business by purchasing three motorcycles to rent to other members of the community.


Evelesi now runs three successful businesses with five employees. It is testament to Evelesi’s drive and determination that in just six years, she has almost tripled her weekly earnings. Evelesi’s success in business has not just transformed the life of herself and her family, but also her 5 employees and their families. When one woman thrives, a whole community can be positively impacted.


With a steady income, Evelesi can afford nutritious food, and school fees for her children – necessities she never had growing up. She recently purchased three plots of land on which she has built a secure, self-contained home for her family. She hopes to send her children to university so they can reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.
MicroLoan’s transformational impact has potential to engender long-term change. With support from MicroLoan, Evelesi has broken a cycle of intergenerational poverty, and rewritten the future of her family.


It is with MicroLoan’s continued support that Evelesi hopes to withstand the devastating economic repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as livelihoods face collapsed, MicroLoan must act now and act quickly to reach many more women and their families in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

You can donate to the cause by clicking here.

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