Business is hard work at the best of times  but, in a pandemic, these challenges are compounded. Find out how our African partners are still running Micro-Enterprise Development (MED) schemes and succeeding to empower businesses.

I'd like to introduce you to Jessy Kachali, a successful businesswoman in Zambia. Jessy sells vegetables and fish at her local market. She was empowered through the local MED scheme in business skills and given access to a small loan. Her business has grown so that she can provide consistent meals for her family and enough for school fees for her children. 

Then there's Patrick Banda, also in Zambia. He is an expert carpenter and has faithfully repaid loans to the local MED committee for a number of years. Through his improved business knowledge and faithfulness in repayments, his access to larger loan amounts has resulted in him expanding the workshop, meeting his family's needs and even supporting vulnerable children and orphans in his village.

Lastly, I want you to meet Mercy Thokozani. This lady has gone from strength to strength in her business achievements, so much so she now has two brick houses in a community that struggles to get such building materials. Through the MED scheme she continues to encourage other MED members to work hard and keep up with repayments. She is an inspiration! 

These are just three real examples of the impact MED continues to have on hundreds of families in Malawi and Zambia. Our most recent reports received from partners show that about 500 businesses are currently being supported through MED schemes. The total loan funding circulating across the two countries is as little as £35,000 (£80-90 per loan), proving how a little can go a long way! Despite the pandemic season resulting in some reduction of repayment rate (about 5%), most businesses are continuing to bring dignity and financial security to vulnerable families.

Do partner with us in prayer and support for people such as Jessy, Patrick and Mercy. The times are tough, but we continue to ask for God's favour 'to establish the work of their hands'. Thank you for supporting them through our partners.

Sam Walker
Africa Region Coordinator