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When one woman thrives, the whole community thrives

On our recent monitoring visit, we went above and beyond. The team walked on foot for about 2 hours, through steep terrains to visit Mirriam Chirwa, an inspiring beneficiary and we could not resist but share her story.

CASE STUDY: Mirriam Chirwa’s access to finance for farming

Mirriam like many others in Malawi was born into a family living in poverty and she grew up without the most basic necessities such as regular meals and clothes and she left school and became a mother at a young age.

Mirriam now has 4 children and is financially responsible for them and other members of the extended family as her husband passed away. Before she joined the Self-Help Group, Mirriam was an aspiring farmer, growing maize and tomatoes but yields were extremely low as she could not afford the required capital items; fertilisers, seeds, and chemicals. The family faced hunger year in year out and she could not afford to provide her children with the basic necessities.

Some members of Titemwane SHG

When SHG was introduced in her community, May last year, she gladly joined, the Titemwane SHG hoping that her life will change for the better. With the business training, the weekly social discussions, and being able to borrow money from the loan fund, Mirriam now had the capital she wanted.  

“Farming is the only way I know to raise money for my family, but I could not afford to buy the required fertilisers, seeds, and chemicals but that’s water under the bridge now as I am able to borrow money from the SHG and invest in my farming”.

Said Miriam

She got a loan amounting to MK 100,000 from her SHG which she used to buy 4 bags of fertilizers, chemicals, and a sprayer and invested in growing tomatoes, maize, and beans and thanks to the affordable Inputs program, the money was enough to cover the capital requirements. In testament, to Mirriam’s drive and determination, within a year of joining SHG, she has for the first time tripled her harvest. She sold Tomato at Phwezi market, earning MK240,000. She has since repaid the loan, plans to buy a cow, and reinvesting in winter tomato farming. She can afford nutritious food and clothes for her children, necessities she never had growing up.  

Mirriam’s success has not just transformed her life but of her family as well as the community. She was able to provide peace works to others to help her in the garden and to carry the tomato to the Market, proving that when one woman thrives, a whole community thrives.

Mirriam is a beneficiary of the 6 years action titled Building a sustainable and empowered people’s institution through self-help group approach we are implementing in Traditional Authority Mwankhunikira in Rumphi District in partnership with Kindernothilfe

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