Malawi Rural Savings and Loans Project (MRLS)

Start Date

2009 pilot

2010 full programme

Completion Date:

2010 pilot

2012 full programme.

Programme Partners:

Federation of Disability Organisations of Malawi (FEDOMA) – implementing partner

Power (Power4Good Ireland and Power International) – long term technical partners.

Programme budget


Programme funders:



Malawi: Machinga


Summary of programme.

This programme concerns the establishment and development of a Rural Savings & Loan Project managed by persons with disabilities within their communities in the poorest rural areas of Malawi to address the chronic poverty that they experience.

The goal is to improve the standard of living for persons with disabilities in Machinga through the provision of community based savings and micro credit facilities.

This aim is to empower persons with disabilities to engage in economic and livelihood activities for them to have access to basic income. This income will help them deal with poverty, pay school fees for their children and above all be counted in society by being independent other than relying on alms.

Being the poorest of the poor, persons with disabilities have little knowledge and skill to engage directly in enterprise development activities. The project is a means of building knowledge and skills for them to effectively engage in enterprise development activities in future. This is why in these first two years, the project aims at building their knowledge and skills in savings and loan and group solidarity so that they can easily manage groups enterprise activities in future projects.

The programme will fill a principal gap which is the complete lack of provision of micro-credit facilities for people with disabilities, and in doing so will demonstrate how this can be done successfully.


Results & Impact

This project builds on a pilot programme where over three hundred people with disabilities and their families have benefitted directly from and are now actively engaging in small sustainable businesses. Under the pilot, repayment rates which far exceed other programmes – averaged over 110 % - and this indicates clearly that our methodology works and our plans are achievable.

Results of the current initiative will be posted as soon as they become available.