Emerging from a simple ‘dream’ less than five years ago, by 31st December 2012 MLFA had placed a total of 7,920 loans to a value of $539,406 to 3,642 borrowers. Over 20,000 dependents of the women who have received the microloans have also benefited, clearly illustrating the huge impact relatively small contributions can make. MLFA founder Brian Keen, who had that dream, reflects on the last four years:
“It’s inspiring to be celebrating our fourth birthday here at MicroLoan Foundation Australia, and blowing out the candles leaves me near to breathless – and unashamedly I feel a tear rolling down my cheek!
From May 2009, when our Mulanje office first opened for business, to December 2012, we raised around $90,000. In our circumstances, as a fledgling charity without access to tax deductibility in the early stages, this scale of fundraising was quite an achievement.
Especially when you think of the large number of loans this $90,000 has generated – in fact our average loan fund loans over the last four and half years have been ‘recycled’ nine times, helping our clients and 20,000 of their dependents. This truly is the ‘hidden secret’ behind well targeted, efficient and effectively managed social microfinance.”
“We could not have done this without the help and support of our donors, especially our regular monthly donors, our small but loyal team of board members and volunteers, our CEO and driver of the past three years, Clive Hughes, Peter Ryan, the founder and CEO of Microloan Foundation in the UK, together with his small hard working team, our generous Australian patron Simon Tedeschi and his colleague Kevin Hunt and the wonderful team of Malawian staff who exclusively manage the program for our Mulanje office.
And last but by no means the least, the wonderful women who use these loans to illustrate to us the amazing entrepreneurial initiative and energy inherent in the women in these resilient, poor, undernourished regions unfortunately so prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa – you inspire us all!”
MLFA has also appointed its first paid team member, Kirsten Shearn as part time Fund Raising and Marketing Manager. Kirsten, who is based in Western Australia, brings wonderful experience and impressive energy to the team. In her first month on board she has already developed a new fund raising program focused on attracting major donors, and is leading our first group from Australia to visit Malawi in October this year.