Introducing you to the culture of Malawi through a series of articles! The culture of Malawi is strong in spirituality and most people are active in religious groups. We’ll tell you about Malawi’s main religions and the people who practice them. Read on for more.
Microloans for Malawians on the Margins
Goodwell Chimwanza’s Story
Everyone who shops at Kasese Trading Post knows Goodwell Chimwanza, the tinsmith. He is always smiling; hard at work. Goodwell is 62 years old and hails from Chilemba Village, T/A Chakhaza in Dowa. Born with a physical disability, he uses a wheelchair.
1,734,250 people. Though representing a significant portion of the population, those with disabilities in Malawi still struggle to access basic services.
People on the margins – women, the elderly, those with disabilities – have unique experiences of poverty, impacted by their social identities.
In his youth, Goodwell desperately wanted to get educated and become independent. “I never wanted my physical disability to stand in the way of my dreams,” he says. “I have always been driven to achieve what everyone else can.”
After reaching Grade 8, Goodwell’s parents couldn’t afford his school fees. Goodwell dropped out of school. His prospects diminished.
At the age of 20, before he married, Goodwell thought it wise to find a trade. “My parents were getting old,” he says. “I knew anytime they could leave us. I needed to be independent. I didn’t want to become a burden to others, considering my condition.”
Goodwell started a tinsmith business to support himself. Now, 42 years later, Goodwell is married with eight children. His business became prosperous. With the earnings, he built a house with iron sheets. He bought pigs and goats, sent his children to school, and provided for his family.
Success for the rural poor is precarious.
Early this year, things changed for Goodwell. Feeling strange and weak, he visited Orant’s Kasese Health Center. Our clinicians diagnosed him with diabetes. Adapting to his new illness, he struggled to run his business. Regrettably, he closed it. Without a source of income, Goodwell used his business capital to take care of himself and his family.
A few months after recovering, he wanted to return to business. But he only had a working capital of 20,000 MWK ($19.48). It was too little to boost his business.
He knew the program primarily supports women. But he decided to try his luck, seeking a loan to get his business back up and running.
Tango Phiri, FEM Program Manager, says, “We considered Goodwell for a loan after looking at his hard work.” Goodwell became the first man to receive a loan from Orant’s FEM Program.
“We think it’s important to support all marginalized people,” says Tango.
Making our programs inclusive is a priority for Orant. Want to join us in this mission? Donate here.
The Orant Journal
As we have discussed in some of our past blogs, Malawi Vision 2063 has three key pillars that guide the focus of the Vision. These three pillars are meant to build on each other to create the inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation that they envision. In this blog, we will look at the second pillar of MW2063: Industrialization.
Introducing you to the culture of Malawi through a new series of articles! First in the series is the food of Malawi, an important part of culture and tradition. We’ll tell you about some traditional foods and even share some recipes! Read on for more.
In this blog, we will look at the first pillar of MW2063: Agricultural Productivity and Commercialization.
In the book Poor Economics, the authors explore the idea of the poverty trap and how it affects people across the world. In this blog, we review Poor Economics and its lessons on how to break the cycle of poverty.
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Clean water is a gendered issue in Malawi. Women and girls bear the brunt of the water burden. Malita Chimbalame tells her story.
Celebrate Orant's Sweet 16 with 16 reasons we love what we do.
Malawi is rich in democracy, peace, and spirit. But economically, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Why?