MicroLoan Foundation USA

The MicroLoan Foundation USA is an international development organization whose mission is to to reduce poverty and inequality by providing microfinance services to impoverished women in remote rural areas in sub-Saharan African countries. Our founding principles and values are as follows: Attentive: To respect and listen to others, especially the individuals we try to help. They probably know best what they need. Far reaching: To find people stuck in poverty who would otherwise struggle to support themselves and their families. We will help them build a sustainable life. Consistent: To do what is right with conviction, sensitivity, enthusiasm, and inventiveness. Small: To discover the poi...
May 19, 2014

May 2014 Update

Esme, in her 4th loan cycle, sells rice
Esme, in her 4th loan cycle, sells rice


10 students and 3 adults (including yours truly) leave for Madras in mid June. We will be visiting the Chickolongo Community Fish Farm to see how much progress has been made in the past few months. We will take photos and bring back stories to share with you in the next report.

Until then, here are the key facts from our work in 2013:

Fact                                       Malawi           Zambia                Total/Average

Number of clients                    26,371             3,711                   30,082

Percentage of portfolio            88%                 12%

# women’s groups                   1,673               234                       1,907

# of loans disbursed                82,880             7,295                    90,175

Value of loans                         $5,135,490      $1,613,770            $6,749,260

Average loan size                   $89                  $214                      $104

Number of staff                       102                  17                          119

Repayment rate                      99%                 97%                       99%

Avg. starting loan                    $63                  $120                       $69

Avg. standard loan                  $74                  $145

Avg. Farming loan                   $91                

Avg Medium loan                    $87                 

Avg. Bridging loan                  $371

Avg. Chiyambi loan                $21

Avg. Mwakhoza                                                $265

Avg. Nkunzi                                                      $554




Feb 12, 2014

Chickolongo Community Fish Farm Winter Update

Ruth, at home in Chickolongo
Ruth, at home in Chickolongo

Greetings from snowy Boston,

The Chickolongo community doesn't have to contend with snow, but the rains fell and they are about to harvest their first maize crop. The community members working in their vegetable plots, are all smiles. They are delighted to be laboring in a secure environment - none of their crops have been damaged by elephants - and they will have fresh produce for their families' consumption as well as a source of income from the produce they take to market.

An MLF USA supporter was recently on site at the fish farm and he told me that the fish are not only growing, but multiplying.The first "catch" from the fish ponds will be ready in about 3-4 weeks. A group of community women are receiving our business and training education in preparation for their loan which willl allow them to set up their own small fish selling business.

In order to assess our, and the community's progress, Amani Consulting from Blantyre, Malawi has been on site developing a baseline for developing a social performance management report. They met, interviewed and surveyed many community members so that in future reports we can share with you the community's progress out of poverty.

A little closer to home, Hannah Gallen and Daniel Kim - both high school students who visited the Chickolongo Community last summer - came to Boston and made a wonderful presentation at our annual, "A Taste of Africa" gala. Our guests were were in awe as Hannah and Daniel told of their experience, and how it had impacted their life. One guest told me that he was, "truly inspired" after listening to them.

Can I inspire you to take that trip of a lifetime and come to Malawi with me? We're planning a trip for this September, so let me know if you are interested. I'm always looking for ways to share our stories about the wonderful entrepreneurial women of Malawi, so contact me any time if you have suggestions or would like more information. Please, tell me what you would like to hear about in future reports.



Majestic, but dangerous.
Majestic, but dangerous.
Hannah and Daniel at "A Taste of Africa"
Hannah and Daniel at "A Taste of Africa"
Nov 18, 2013

Chickolongo Community Fish Farm Fall update

Lucy and son on the fish farm site
Lucy and son on the fish farm site

Greetings from MLF USA.

The Chickolongo Community Fish Farm is now a reality. It was offically opened on September 14, 2013 by Malawi's Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Ms. Rachel Mazombwe-zulu. Zulu stressed that the government was committed to implementing new approaches, especially to develop partnerships with stakeholders, to effectively manage wildlife both inside and outside protected areas, as previously, neighbouring communities (to such areas) never benefited anything, let alone allowed access to harvest certain natural resources on a sustainable basis.

In his remarks, the German Ambassador to Malawi, Dr Peter Woeste, who indicated the project was a direct response to an appeal for help from the Chikolongo community, said the initiative was a “nice deal” as it would help to keep the animals, particularly elephants, away from the people and the farm fish for people’s alternative livelihood.

“The elders identified a fish farm as something that could improve life for the villagers. We’re hoping the farm will keep the villagers safe and the animals safe, and we’re relying on the support of Chikolongo to make sure the farm is a success,” he said.

Here is a link to a short video of the project:


The MicroLoan Foundation USA will hold it's annual A Taste of Africa gala on December 6, at Fenway Park in Boston.Full details, ticket information, etc, can be found on our website, www.microloanfoundationusa.org

More news after the Holidays.