Dedza, Federation for Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) has encouraged people with disabilities in Dedza to join Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups to empower themselves economically and be able to fend for themselves and their families.
Speaking on Monday during a community mobilization meeting aimed at facilitating formation of VSLs in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kamenyagwaza, Fedoma coordinator for Dedza, Amos Phiri, accused microfinance institutions of tightening their conditions for loans hence the need for persons with disabilities to utilize VSLs.
There are many microfinance institutions in the district however it is hard for people with disabilities to get loans from them because of the requirement of collateral. VSLs have presented an opportunity for them to access soft loans and start small businesses, he said.
Phiri said Fedoma is facilitating formation of VSL groups in the district mainly comprising people with disabilities to encourage their participation in economic activities.
We have created 49 VSL groups in five Traditional Authorities and have trained them in financial literacy and business management. We want to create 60 more groups in the same T/As so that more people with disabilities should be reached, Phiri said.
One of the persons with disabilities in the area, Sankhulani Bintoni, said society should stop looking at them as dependents of handouts saying they can be able to sustain themselves if engaged in income generating activities.
Fedoma is implementing an economic empowerment project for people with disabilities in Dedza and Balaka with funds from Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD).
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA