Microloans for Malawian Women

An Interview with Tango Phiri

Orant's FEM Program at a Soap Making Workshop

Orant Charities Africa believes female entrepreneurs will shape and define local marketplaces, paving the way for lasting social change. Our Financially Empowering Microloans for Women Program (FEM) gives women the financial and social tools to succeed in operating small-businesses. This year, Orant recruited its third FEM cohort. The program now supports 38 women total. We interviewed Tango Phiri, FEM Program Manager, to learn more.

How has your FEM journey been so far?

It has been wonderful to see women empowered financially. It’s exciting to see women buying and owning  assets, educating their children, and most importantly, being able to feed their families.

What excites you the most about Orant’s FEM program?

Because of our FEM Program’s no-interest microloans, small businesses are launching and blossoming. It’s exciting to see our women entrepreneurs practicing business skills acquired through our training.

The lack of women’s financial freedom and inclusion still persists in rural Malawi. Culturally, it is believed that men have all the autonomy when it comes to making financial decisions. Hence, most decisions at the household level are made by the husbands. Women are at the receiving end. We try to challenge these roles by conducting awareness campaigns and training centered on financial inclusion

Any future plans for the FEM Program?

We plan to incorporate at least 10% men in the program to ensure gender inclusion. We also plan to continue training communities in gender mainstreaming and financial inclusion. 

Anything else you would like to share?

Attaining women’s empowerment is a hustle, especially in Africa. This is due to high illiteracy levels, exclusion in decision making, gender based violence, and lack of access to resources. Gender roles have long defined our way of life. 

I get to work in a program that is specifically designed to empower women. Knowing that we are really making a difference is a privilege.

The Orant Journal