Reporting Back from Malawi - Microloans are HOT Here!
In early July we travelled to Northern Malawi to visit our Field Partner Temwa and meet a number of Deki entrepreneurs. Over the course of our three year partnership with Temwa, Deki lenders have shown their love by supporting an impressive 636 clients with loans, totalling almost £80,000. We went to inspect the impact of these loans on the entrepreneurs as well as the communities and we came back with some truly inspiring stories.
Microfinance builds on existing skills and training work
Temwa has worked in Malawi since 2004, supporting the efforts of communities in the Nkhata Bay region, including Usisya, Chikwina, Bula, Ruarwe and several other small lakeside communities. Over this time they have built up very strong relationships with communities in the area and discovered that a major limiting factor for entrepreneurs was access to finance. Bringing microfinance to Nkhata Bay meant many of the entrepreneurs could grow businesses based on trainings they had previously received from Temwa.
For example, an entrepreneur Douglas Mhone who trained as a brick maker with Temwa was able to invest in starting a restaurant. He manufactured the bricks and then took a loan to help construct the building and equip it with the necessary wares. Dairy farmers such as Lydia Nyrongo, who have previously participated in Temwa’s agricultural projects, have taken loans to invest in improving milk production in their dairy cows. Entrepreneurs who have completed business trainings, such as Bruno Nyirenda, have started small grocery stores, barber shops and countless other types of small businesses.
Loans that change lives
The impacts of Deki loans on the communities of Nkhata Bay are extremely evident and inspiring. We met an entrepreneur named Rodger Mkorongo, who took a small loan of £120 in 2011 to invest in building a small shop and stocking it with home and personal care items. Rodger successfully repaid his loan, and with his profits he managed to build his family a new home. Rodger’s business continues to thrive and he told us that his next goal is to replace the grass thatch on his home with a modern iron roof. He even showed us a small stack of iron sheet stored in his home. Every month he uses a portion of his profits to buy another sheet, and he hopes to have enough by the end of the year to replace the whole roof.
Malawi is a very good example of the remote locations where Deki’s Field Partners work. Usisya and the Nkhata Bay region of Malawi are very difficult to travel to and as a result they are often totally unserved by organisations like banks, businesses and charitable and development organisations. While this makes life very difficult for communities, it also makes the impact of new projects very evident.
Thanks to Deki loans and Temwa’s hard work, new homes are being built, businesses are growing, livestock numbers are increasing and the quality of life is improving for many people. The Deki entrepreneurs we met in Malawi are intelligent, hardworking people who just need a small investment to get their businesses growing. The pride they have gained by providing for their families through their own efforts was palatable in every meeting we had.
Every single entrepreneur wanted us to thank the Deki lenders for their support. With the help of the loan capital you have provided the people of Malawi are building a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.