There was joy and earth-shattering celebration at Mwanza Community Ground on 17 December 2010 when 78 women from nine Village Savings and Lending groups who have participating in ASAP Africa Malawi’s Chimvano pa Chuma Project were being presented with certificates.
“I can’t believe this is happening to me!” A visibly elated Mary Bintoni exclaimed. “I cannot believe my business is running well and I still have this envelope with more money than I contributed to my group’s savings!”
On this day, the women received their certificates acknowledging their successful completion of a savings and lending cycle, and an envelope containing money they had contributed to their group’s savings plus the interest it had accrued in the lending activities. ASAP Africa Malawi’s Country Director could not hide his satisfaction: “We are very pleased that we are meaningfully contributing to Malawi Government’s efforts to provide a means for rural women to become self-reliant”, he enthused. Over Mk 830, 000 was shared at the function.
“This festive season is a season with a difference. At a time like this last year, before I joined ASAP’s Chimvano pa Chuma Program, I was in extreme debt and had no food for my children. Now, I have all the money I need for my business, food and farm inputs,” said a jovial Mrs Kamwana.