Canaan Gondwe had seen other non-profits come and go through his village in rural Malawi. Some came to build things (things that sometimes didn’t last) and some came to start programs.
But Canaan had a vision for something that would last because of local involvement, because of local investment, and because of local leadership. And so in 2009, he and a small group of people started the Manyamula Village Savings and Loans Cooperative. Today, this group, MAVISALO, is thriving. It’s grown to over 150 people. And each year it helps people save more and access loans at reasonable interest rates.
Each year MAVISALO continues to become more stable as an organization; keeping a vision of sustainability and independence.
Last year, a SIA Community Grant supported part of this vision by helping them purchase two maize mills. Photos below tell the story of how these mills are helping the people of Manyamula and the MAVISALO cooperative.
Kondwani waters his maize crop. Maize is used in creating the staple food, nsima, similar to polenta.
The mills, one for shelling and the other for grinding, both add value to the staple crop, maize corn.
Before MAVISALO’s mills, maize processing was done across the border in Zambia.
Women with the milled maize flour. Money generated from small milling fees help cover costs of running the savings and loans cooperative. This helps keep interest rates low. So far, the maize mills fees have increased MAVISALO’s loan capital by $500!
Woman putting maize in the sheller. Milled flour can be sold for 61 cents per kg, instead of 15 cents per kg for whole kernels.
Through investment projects like these maize mills, SIA is supporting local development that continues to impact the community for years to come! Thank you so much for your support in 2013. See you next year!