MicroLoan: Olipa’s story

Olipa MicoLoan

We recently told you about the fantastic Microloan Foundation Christmas appeal, where every pound you donate to MicroLoan, until 31st December 2016, will be matched up to the value of £20,000. This campaign gives you a great opportunity to double the value of your donation and help more women and their families.

As long-term supporters of MicoLoan, the team here at The Language Factory think this is a great idea. If you want to share a small donation for this worthy cause why not also share this blog post with five of your colleagues or friends to see if we can keep spreading the word for the rest of 2016.

Read on for an update on some of the great work MicroLoan are doing.

Olipa’s story

Olipa Zimba (pictured) is 17 years old and lives in Tamandani in Malawi with her parents, brother and six year old niece. She is in her second year at Ludzi Secondary School where her favourite subjects are English, Biology and Geography. Olipa wants to be a nurse when she leaves school to help the people in her village to live a healthy life.

Olipa’s brothers and sisters were not so fortunate. Her parents, Yvonne and Lyson, had seven children to look after and, until 2010, they struggled to get by on Lyson’s small income from occasional building jobs. When ill health left him unfit to work, the family was reduced to begging and most of Olipa’s brothers and sisters had to leave school to help support the family.

When Olipa’s mother joined a MicroLoan group in 2010, her life began to change. Using her training and her first loan, Yvonne decided to travel to central markets and buy cooking oil to sell for a profit locally. Her business prospered and with additional loans to help her grow and expand her coverage, Yvonne eventually saved enough to open a small tea room, providing a regular and stable income for the family.

Olipa’s older siblings have since left home, but Yvonne is now able to pay for Olipa’s secondary school fees as well as take care of the rest of the family. Olipa is incredibly grateful to her mother and says,

“My life has changed so much since my mother started taking loans from MicroLoan to do business. My elder brother failed to go further with his education due to lack of money but it is a different story for me.”

Microloan hope Olipa’s mother will be able to continue to support her studies but so often the family’s other financial needs take priority. The story is the same for millions of children across sub-Saharan Africa who struggle to gain an education as their families try to survive in extreme poverty.

It’s widely recognised that education is key to ending global poverty. With half of sub-Saharan Africa’s children out of school it is clear there is much more to do. Microloan aims to help families find the means to invest in their children’s education, even when times are desperate.

Don’t forget

Until 31st December 2016 every pound you donate to Microloan will be matched by two of their long-term supporters, up to the value of £20,000. If you’re able to donate this month then please do – as your money will go even further. Visit the Microloan website and press the big ‘donate now’ button to give what you can.

  • £10 can provide a starting loan for some our MicroLoan’s poorest clients.
  • £50 can provide a woman with the loan she needs to set up her business and start changing her life.
  • £100 can provide loans and training for one woman for a year.


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