Recently, Maria Largey, director of philanthropy at Opportunity UK travelled to Malawi with Deborah Foy, director of programs. They went to meet with current clients, assess the situation in Nsanje (the region with one of the largest unbanked populations in Malawi), and to see firsthand the effectiveness and success of Opportunity Malawi’s POS devices, mobile banks, agriculturalist specialists and educational financial literacy program. She writes in her blog, Malawi 2010, about her experiences meeting inspiring individual clients and attending a lively Trust Group meeting in the Limbe area, while reflecting on the progress that is being made daily in Malawi. She also focuses on the need for Opportunity UK to expand into the Nsanje region. Her posts are very informative and give the reader a glance into how Opportunity’s microfinance services are improving lives in rural communities, which are certainly the poorest.
Here is one bit we found in Maria’s last post that is particularly encouraging:
“When we asked her (Grace, an Opportunity Trust Group client in her fifth loan cycle, mother of 3 and owner of a successful business selling secondhand clothes) why she and her girlfriends decided to form a Trust Group and take out an Opportunity loan, she responded: ‘We wanted to empower ourselves. We wanted to show that even women can do it. Where we live, men already have access to most of the good things in life. Let’s give women a chance.’”