We’re in Malawi!

Tanya with the Manyamula SIA Support team! They all made us feel so welcome. I can testify that SIA is sparking real change in Manyamula village in rural Malawi! Tanya is wearing a dress of Malawian cloth, given to her by one of the Small Business Fund leaders, who has a shop in the Manyamula market. I’ve just spent 3 amazing days visiting over 35 Small Business Fund (SBF) partners and Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative (formerly MAVISALO) members. We also took over 1,000 photos and almost an hour of video of song and testimony, which I’ll be sharing with you in the coming months. I was filled with gratitude for SIA and our small grants as I heard stories of change and a positive view of the future. One community member mentioned that they should be called BIG Business Grants, rather than “Small” Business grants because their businesses are growing and thriving so much! I saw so many more houses that were fortified with iron roofing sheets (rather than thin thatching) compared with three years ago. And so many families proudly showed off their kitchen utensils; they now can serve meals in dishes, rather than pots from the open-fire stoves. Many shared how valuable it was to have us come and visit – to see and witness their new homes and their shops, farms, and day-care. The sentiment was perfectly captured by Winkly Mahowe who said, “your coming here is an encouragement. When I heard you were coming I told myself, ‘I don’t want to be in the same place as I was before,’ and so I worked hard to improve our lives to be able to show you.” Thank you to all who supported this trip. It is really amazing to be here. Tomorrow we fly off to Nairobi to meet Wambui and the new SBF groups there. P.S. – apologies for the formatting issues in this post, I’m in a Malawian Internet cafe… One of the shops in the Manyamula market. Canaan is just visible in the purple shirt on the right. #AfricaTrip2014 #Encouragement #Malawi #SuccessStory

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