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The gift of a pig

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

What difference can the gift of one pig make? One of the key components of SIA’s Small Business Fund (SBF) is the concept of “Sharing the Gift”, which encourages groups that receive small business grants from SIA to pay it forward to others in their community.

As Boyd Cothran wrote in the Fall 2009 SIA Newsletter, “We take small amounts and give entrepreneurs in developing countries the opportunity to succeed. We don’t ask that they pay us back but that they use their success to give someone else in their community a chance to get ahead.”

The following story, written by SIA SBF Malawi Coordinator Canaan Gondwe, shows that one small act of generosity can put a new roof over a family’s head.

Winkly Mahowe with a family size of four entered the SIA SBF program in 2007 through the Sharing of the Gift program. The family received one piglet of seven months old in May. It was indeed a small beginning and it was as if there will be small impact. But today, the impact on the family is big and there are celebrations all over for this achievement.

In Malawi, 75% of the households live in houses that are grass-thatched and very small in size. Most people are not well accommodated especially these low-income earners. These houses leak during rainy season. Most of these households can’t afford the iron-roofed house and it really becomes a miracle to attain such a house in this category of people.

After successfully benefiting from the gift, the pig in 2008 gave birth two times in the year and there were 19 piglets (11 female and 8 male). These were sold at three months of age at the cost of MK 5000/each (USD$32). Money realized was MK 95000 (USD$626)! The family bought 38 iron sheets of 12 feet. In the year 2009 the pig farrowed twice again to 16 piglets and they were sold at MK 5000/each and the family realized again MK 80000 (USD$527) and bought 32 iron sheets. Total iron sheets were now 70 and now they have built a house and roofed it.

For a long time, the family was struggling financially to get the iron sheets and through the Sharing of the Gift of SIA they have managed. It is smiles on the family as they no longer stay in a house that does not leak. The family is thankful to the program as they can witness the love of Christ emanating within fellow Malawians.

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