Thursday, July 29, 2010

Children in Microfinance

In the Honde Valley of Zimbabwe, where ASAP is working in partnership with Plan International, over 2,300 families are improving their household income through saving club activities. To date 4,204 loans, amounting to to over $33,500 have been accessed by these families, mainly for starting and diversifying agricultural based income generating activities like these pictured above.

415 of these participants are children. With the help of their parents, they are learning to become self- reliant and entrepreneurial at an early age. Pictured here, these children are proud of the poultry cage they have made and have been promised 15 chicks for a start by their parents, who encourage them to be actively involved.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Vision Alignment Project

When people realize that their thoughts and Visions are creating their future,
then we can create a better future for ourselves.
Click here to learn more.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ASAP Welcomes TLC Visit

Dr. Zwide Jere, Total Land Care(TLC) Director in Malawi, was warmly welcomed by women in ASAP's savings clubs last week, and were eager to share their success. Pictured below, this savings club member is proud to be building a home with funds from her VS&L funds.

Total Land Care (TLC) and ASAP Africa in Malawi have been working together in the Southern villages to enhance the household and food security and improve agricultural practice of families in this marginalized area since 2008.

With training from ASAP, women in these communities have been reaping the benefits of the Village Savings and Lending rural micro-finance project, named "Chimvano pa Chuma"- Unity for Economic Growth. Click here to learn more about this life-changing project.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A New Way to Learn African Languages

Planning a visit to Malawi? If so, expand your Chichewa vocabulary with Google.
Likewise, if traveling to Zimbabwe you may find the Shona and Ndebele Google useful.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Who Benefits from Bumper Crops in Malawi?

This desperate women resorts to "harvesting water lilies on the Shire River for food, where people could drown and crocodiles lurked." Yet Malawi's agriculture sector has had a second successive bumper harvest of maize, the staple food. It is ironic that it is estimated that 710,000 people in the southern regions, where ASAP works, are still threatened with starvation. Problems with the ability to distribute food surpluses quickly throughout the country leave the the international community considering other alternatives to providing food aid. To read more click here.

Meanwhile, Malawi has started selling much-needed maize to Zimbabwe under an export agreement which includes a US$10 million line of credit. To read more click here.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Happy Independence Day to Malawi

Today Malawi celebrates 46 years of independence from Britain. In colonial times Malawi was known as British Central Africa, Nyasaland and a member of the the Federation of Rhodesia. The region was part of the Maravi Empire in the late 15th century.

The Maravi Empire was founded by the Amaravi people, who eventually became known as the Chewa (a word possibly derived from a term meaning "foreigner"), migrated to Malawi from the region of the modern day Republic of Congo to escape unrest and disease. They were renown as iron workers and Maravi is thought to mean "rays of light". To read more about the history of Malawi click here.

Speaking of light, today, July 6th is also the Dalai Lama's birthday. To send him a 75th birthday greetings click here.