Micro Loan Program
Every year RISE Now, with the help of its members and supporters, identifies a small project that will improve and build sustainability in a community, for an individual, a family or other group for our Micro Loan Program. With our small financial lift up we aim to improve the life and conditions of the recipients one project at a time. Projects are chosen once a year by vote of the board of directors and all are welcome to apply. The winner is chosen upon a criteria that includes: reach of the program, planning and thought invested into the project, chance of success, how the project improves global sustainability, need for the project and more. The interest free loans range from $100-$1000 and once repaid they fund more such projects.
2012 Micro Loan Winner: Irene Mwale
Project: Finish building and start up a “chicken run” for raising chickens to sell at market.
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Story: We learned of Irene and her three daughters from one of our board members. Her husband had recently died of HIV and Irene, also HIV positive, needed to find a way to support herself and her three school age daughters. Her late husband, Andy, had worked hard promoting AID’s awareness with the Zambart Project, but could not leave much behind for Irene and his girls. With donated land from her family Irene wanted to build a chicken business but needed more start-up money. Upon seeing her cost and profit analysis of the project, photos of the land and what she had been able to start with her late husband’s pension, RISE Now decided to provide a micro loan of $800. This loan would cover the remaining building costs and provide for the first round of chickens.
With this project, RISE Now believes helping a family reach financial sustainability after the loss of the sole income provider is a great way to promote sustainability. Once up and running Irene hopes the business will feed her and her daughters as well as pay for their schooling. Although one small project in a sea of need in Zambia and across Africa, this micro loan is a step towards self sufficiency for a family that would otherwise be dependent on the charity of others.