Final figures for 2011 are not in yet, but we thought we would share with you some information on where the money Gifts to MicroLoan Foundation Australia went so far this year.
It’s fair to say that – despite prevailing economic conditions around the world – 2011 has been our best year yet. We are indebted to all of our supporters, from our patron Simon Tedeschi and ambassador Peter FitzSimons to every single person who Gives or who has Given to our cause.
In 2011 we held our second Simon Tedeschi concert at St James’ Church in Sydney and we were delighted by a stunning fundraising drive put together by our friends at the Ubuntu Art Exhibition which raised over $35,000 for MicroLoan back in February.
Other very generous Donate this year have lifted our total funds raised (since we launched in August 2008) to $112,000 or an average of $37,000 per annum since MLFA set up.
Where does the money raised go?
All money raised by MLFA supports one branch in Malawi – the branch in Mulanje. Since Mulanje was set up, it has lent out money to 2,213 women running or setting up small businesses in the form of 4,717 separate loans, so just over two loans per person. The two thousandth loan was made in September 2010 and we can’t be too far away from the five thousandth.
To give you an idea on what these loans are for, anything you can imagine (and a lot of things you can’t) are funded by MLFA – businesses selling anything from bags to wrappers, with vegetables, fish, bananas, second hand clothes, beer and ‘flitters’ (something you eat for breakfast) in between.
The ladies helped by MLFA are on average 36 years old, the youngest being 18 (the minimum age) and the oldest 91! Loans are anything from 2,000 Kwacha (around $12.50) to 13,000 Kwacha (around $700). The average loan is around 13,000 Kwacha, or $80.
With these small businesses, the women who have loans from MLFA support, on average, four dependants, although the range is anything up to 17. Of the loans made, over a thousand are to women looking after orphans with some families supporting up to eight orphans (see our previous report here).
We try to keep our overheads here in Australia to an absolute minimum to maximise the amount we are able to transfer to our Mulanje office – all the team working in Australia are volunteers and in some cases give other services as well, and we are very grateful to receive help from many other supporters free of charge. For example when we needed some technical help migrating our website to another host, BA Creative in Brisbane stepped in to help us do this.
One of our New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 is to keep you informed on our fundraising initiatives and on how the money raised is being used, on a more regular basis with a monthly (short) update.
Once again thank you for all your help and we look forward to being able to help our customers in Malawi even more – with your help – in 2012.