Here they are - our clients in the Limbikani Group who live near Liwonde, Southern Malawi. Two of our staff, Dick (on the right) and Ignatio were there to introduce and translate for me. They were not averse to having their photo taken, either!
I was able to visit, and sit and talk with the ladies earlier this month. Everyone was delighted and fascinated by the solar reading lights. Your donations made this possible, so a big "zikomo" (thank you) goes out to you from all the ladies. The on/off switch was a source of amazement. Switching on a light is automatic for us, for these ladies that little switch is, as one of the ladies remarked, a life changer.
The ladies in the photo have 34 children between them. Four of them take care of an orphan (parents died form HIV/AIDS). Of these 34 children, everyone who should be in school, was. The ladies made a big point of telling me that education is very important now, and they are saving their money to make sure they have enough to pay school fees when the children reach secondary school age. (Elementary school is free.) Everyone agreed that their lives were improving since they started with the MicroLoan Foundation. I asked them to tell me how, and here is a sample what they said:
(Front row, right) Alice: "Now I have enough money to give my children breakfast before they go to school."
(Front row, 2nd right) Bertha: "I've been able to buy a plot of land. When I save more money, I'm going to build a house and grow my own vegetables."
(Back row right) Roseby: "I was able to buy another cooking pot and some utensils. I want to buy a plot of land so that I can keep more chickens." Roseby has 19 chickens at the moment, but wants more egg layers, so that she can sell eggs at the market or to a restaurant.
(Back row, 3rd left) Loveness, Chairlady of the group, currently bakes and sells scones. She would like to have a mushroom farm. She told me that because she was making good profits from her business, she was able for the first time to buy some chairs for her house.
(Front row, left) Dora, the most experienced MicroLoan client in the group, had used some profit from her rice and bean selling store to purchase a bed. She said, " with this little light, I will be able to sit in bed and knit. Blessings on you."
A small item having a big impact. Thank you so much for your support.