You Gave Them the Tools, Now They’re Building the Future

10/17/16

Our goal at COTN is to see the children we serve grow up to have sustainable jobs so they can support their families and create lasting change in their communities. Your support is doing this!

 

                          One of your microloans at work. Chikumbutso used his microloan to build a piggery.

 

Some of these jobs include well drilling, farming, running their own shops, working in hospitality, and sewing. Partners like you are making these jobs and more possible through regular giving and by supporting the Business Connections Initiative, which provides microloans to students in Malawi who are interested in starting businesses. The loans are eventually paid back and go into a pool for the next group of students.

 

Innocent Ndhlovu (below) runs a studio in Mtsiliza, Malawi, where he records video and sound. He was able to partially pay for quality speakers through your generous loans, but he is still trying to pay off the rest of the cost of these speakers. Innocent says he sees four to five clients every day, and he believes getting quality speakers will enable him to produce quality work, and this will increase his profits.


Innocent in his recording studio
                                                           Innocent in his recording studio.
 

Another former COTN student in Malawi, Chikumbutso Job (above), runs a piggery. He says, “I want to help others as you have helped me.” He used his business loan to purchase two pigs, and he built his own shelter for them. The manure from his pigs helps him fertilize his crops. He grows corn, peanuts, and beans. In time, he would like to buy a cow. Chikumbutso hopes to sell piglets so he eventually has enough money to get married.

Happy pigs
                                                                Chikumbutso's pigs.

Microloans with business training have a much higher success rate than those without, so as part of our Business Connections Initiative, COTN created a short business course. A recent course in Malawi had 23 students, and in addition to business training, students were taught to use tablet computers.


                                       Students and faculty at their first week of COTN’s business course.



One of the team projects during the business course was to create the tallest structure possible, using only tape, spaghetti, and marshmallows.

All the students have big dreams. For example, Josh is almost finished with high school. He would like to repair and operate drilling equipment. Hezekiah is currently doing farm work, but he would like to open a bakery and bake quality bread. Sarah is a university graduate. She wants to open a wedding planning business.

We are now looking for donations to fund these students with their own microloans.

 

COTN also hosted a one-day, Women in Business class to teach young women in Malawi about business. Fifteen girls attended the training.


                                             Girls from COTN’s Women in Business class listen eagerly.


Thanks to you, businesses are springing up across impoverished communities in Africa. When you give toward microloans and other long-term, sustainable initiatives, you are raising up children who can truly transform their nations. Thank you!


To learn more about COTN’s sustainable practices, visit cotni.org/sustainable-practices.