BEING POOR HURTS
"Giving a hand up not a hand out"
Desperately wanting to look after their kids
Everyday Elena struggles, “My children go to bed hungry and my small home lets in the rain.” Elena lives in a small rural village in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. “I had to leave primary school because my parents could not afford the payments or even to feed me so I had no option but to marry to survive. Then, by the time I was 20 with three children, I was again in the same position, struggling to feed my children each day and keep the roof on our small house from leaking. My children had to miss school like me because I could not afford the fees or books. The little money that did come in didn’t go far enough – I really knew what poverty feels like.”
We give them a very small business loan of about $50
which they pay back to us with a very small interest. We also give
them business training and work with the women so they can
build successful businesses. By doing this we are giving them
the tools to build a good future not hand outs
Before working with us, these women have no hope of moving their families from dire poverty and giving their children a different future. Recently, I have been working with Elena to start a business selling tomatoes. Elena has only just joined us and already this has made a huge difference to her life. “My life is comfortable now. I am able to buy food and my children no longer go to bed on an empty stomach. I can afford the things the children need to be well and to go to school and I can look after my family”. Many of the women we work with have no previous experience of managing money so we give them training. And as many of the women also cannot read, we have to use innovative ways to teach them how to run a business. Dance and song are really important in showing them how.
Look at this video of Deborah Meaden telling this story
To make matters more difficult, Malawi is facing the added impact of flood and drought. After the catastrophic floods of 2015 Malawi is now suffering drought decimated crops and water shortages of a massive scale with over 50% of the population officially in desperate need of food relief. So they need your help more than ever. Each year MicroLoan Foundation helps over 35,000 women. I’m proud of the impact we’re having but there’s more, much more we can do, and for that I’m humbly asking for your help by supporting our Winter Appeal and change a family’s life today. Several local and international agencies are doing all they can to help, but it’s not enough. By helping women become independent and financially secure, we see them better-equipped to face these recurring challenges. And this raises their self-esteem by being able to feed and educate their families themselves – exactly what they’ve always dreamed of doing. Adding to this need is that many of our existing, inspirational women need loan extensions to help them maintain or rebuild their lives, and all their needs are equally great. And we are expanding into Zimbabwe so our organisation is growing. You can join us in helping Zimbabwean women from July 2016 when we open there and expand the impact of your support. So we are growing to help others achieve their dream of becoming independent.We can make a big difference for very little. Put simply, every dollar helps and with as little as $50 (an average loan amount) You Can Make A Difference Now by providing a much needed ‘Hand Up Not a Handout.’ The added benefit for you is, because we have DGR status, you can secure end of financial year tax deductions, as well as provide MicroLoan’s ‘magic’ of lasting giving, meaning your support has a ‘double-whammy.’
How to Help Us
If you’d like to join me in ‘Giving a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out’ visit our website and see us on Facebook to find out what we’re doing now. And as I said, your deduction is tax deductible thanks to the generosity of the ATO so why not do it now right here? If you would like any further information, I’d be delighted to speak to you personally to answer your questions and explain how you can help MicroLoan Foundation Australia by ‘Giving a Hand Up Not a Handout.’ Just call 0417 211 366 – I look forward to speaking with you any time 24/7. Brian Keen, Founder and Chairman