Elena’s bicycle repair shop

MicroLoan enjoys acknowledging the amazing success stories of our clients who as a result of our loans and training, have gone on to set up their own businesses to support their families. Furthermore, we feel it is great to share the success stories and experiences of our many volunteers, supporters and staff across the world who have seen for themselves the impact their work has in Africa. Read on to learn more about how we really offer “a hand up, not a hand out.”

Most people in Malawi live on less than $2 a day meaning that regular transport on buses, let alone owning a car, is nearly impossible. For many in Malawi, owning a bicycle can be priceless – it enables women to run their businesses by giving them the means to buy and transport stock which they can sell within their local communities; it enables them to collect water and food for their children; and it allows them to have greater contact with the world outside their front doors.

Elena- The MicroLoan Foundation

It was the importance of bicycles to their owners that lead Alena Phiri to open her bicycle repair shop after her first loan from the MicroLoan Foundation. The invaluable business training MicroLoan gives to all the women we help enabled Alena to spot an obvious gap in the market in her village in Old Nkhotakota.

‘Market traders rely very heavily on their bicycles. If they do not work properly, they cannot buy the goods that they sell to people every day. With my loan, I was able to open up a bicycle repair shop which means I can provide an important service and also earn good money to make sure I can feed my family.’

Another important consideration that is not lost on Alena is the service she can provice to health care workers. The healthcare system in Malawi is under severe and constant pressure, with only one doctor per 50,000 people – the lowest figures in the world. With around 70,000 HIV/Aids related deaths each year, the ability for healthcare workers to cover as much ground as possible cannot be overstated.

If you would like to support a different approach to charity, and give more women like Alenda a hand up, not a hand out, please donate today. Thank you for your support.