Many in Zambia struggle to get access to loans to start even small businesses and as a result cannot escape dependency on subsistence farming. This is a precarious situation to be in and when unexpected medical bills arise it can be a choice of paying them or paying children’s school fees.
In response three:eighteen have partnered with Chinsali UCZ, a local church, to start a microloans scheme. Small loans and business training are given, designed to unlock a vulernable person's God given potential. To allow greater accountability they are given to a group.
Loans are given to co-operatives. Our first group has 15 women, after recieving a loan from three:eigheen they bought and reared 300 chicks. In February 2013 they sold the chickens at the local market and have since distributed the profits among the group. This allows them to provide for themselves and their families. Members of the group come from a variety of different economic backgrounds.
Another thing we love about microloans is that when they are paid back they are then loaned to another vulerable person. Breaking the cycle of poverty and replacing it with a cycle of empowerment.