Your gifts help thousands in Malawi

Posted on September 26, 2016

vsl trainingThanks to you, 1,500 people in the remote Thyolo district in Malawi have improved their food security and income.

Using $20,000 that our incredible Action on Poverty supporters donated, we worked with our partner, Concern Universal, to improve the livelihoods of Malawian families through livestock pass-on schemes and village savings and loans (VSL) programs.

Your gifts paid to procure and distribute livestock for families to use for food and trade. You also helped train 25 people in livestock management as para-vets, and another 40 people, including traditional leaders, in VSL programs to help their communities access essential financial services so they can save money, improve their houses and invest in business.

Unfortunately, Malawi is the poorest country in the world, with 74 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, and 40 per cent living in severe poverty.

Your generous gifts have helped thousands of the most vulnerable Malawians like Chifundo and John to improve their income and set aside money, food and other assets for the future.

Chifundo’s story

Chifundo, who was born with a disability that means he can’t walk or work in the garden, had always struggled to help his family make an income.

Through our small livestock pass-on scheme, he received crops such as sweet potato, peas, cassava and maize to plant, and was also given a voucher to buy a goat. He now has eight goats and makes a living selling them, which has allowed him to pay back the scheme and gain independence.

Chifundo sold his first goat in 2014 to buy food, clothes and bedding. Recently, he sold another two to other families in his community to help share the benefits of the scheme.

“We used to eat once a day, but now we eat at least twice a day,” said Chifundo. “I am now able to support our family, headed by my grandmother who, in addition to me, takes care of three orphans.

“Previously, I was the one who needed all the support. Now I can make decisions at home as I have assets. I am now an important member in the family and society.”

In future, Chifundo wants to train to become a tailor so he can make jerseys for school children and adults to generate more daily income.

John’s story

John started a VSL group in 2010 when he learned about the success of a group in the nearby village of Dzimbiri. He started out with shares of AUD$28 which soon grew to AUD$74. With some of this money, he moulded bricks to build a house for himself and his wife.

Two years later, John’s village head nominated John as a VSL facilitator to help other groups establish their own schemes. Meanwhile, with the ongoing income from his initial $28 investment, John installed solar power at his house and bought a television. His latest dividend from the group was $220.

John also grows crops in his village’s irrigation scheme, which gives him extra money to invest back in his savings group. He now operates a grocery store and was recently elected Vice Chairperson of his village VSL network.

“This will go a long way in helping me to reach out to as many groups as possible,” said John of his new position. “Since I have received full training in VSL, I have seen myself growing. To me, VSL has helped with my personal development.”

Help more people like Chifundo and John create their own livelihoods. Donate to our cause now