With a mission to raise awareness of and secure funding for microfinance initiatives in Africa, micro light pilots Thom de Wit and Merle Pijlman, are flying across Africa to learn more about microfinance. On 7 June 2010, they arrived in Malawi as guests of ASAP Malawi and are pictured below with Victor Katchika-Jere, ASAP's Country Director in Malawi.
They were driven to Ndakwera and Nyampemba communities where ASAP is currently implementing village savings and lending projects (VSL). The couple met with more than 100 club members in two separate community meetings.
Senior Group Village Headman Singano, also an active VSL club member, said: “This methodology has shown us that our money can grow and make profit from it through lending. If we were to go to a bank we would have to pay some deposit and then also have bank charges deducted from our own money.”
ASAP’s Country Director, Mr. Victor Katchika-Jere emphasized the vision of ASAP Malawi: “This organization is committed to eradicating poverty. ASAP believes that this starts when the people have a stable capital base to start their Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and have the right training to help them in making informed decisions about what business to engage in. The Chimvano pa Chuma Project through VSL builds community capacity to embrace a savings culture.”
Mission accomplished, the couple left Malawi on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 on their way to Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt enroute to Holland. To learn more about their journey click here.