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Sustainability

Microfinance: one small loan can change a life

A keen farmer, Max has benefited from the microfinance scheme that was set-up for the community of Mannya at the end of 2009.

Kagimu Max lives in Kasaasa village, one of the areas within the Mannya township, Uganda. At 62-years-old, he is happily married with 15 children and 17 grand-children.

A keen farmer, Max has benefited from the microfinance scheme that was set-up for the community of Mannya at the end of 2009. Microfinance gives low-income earners who do not have access to regular banking services a means to access financial services. It gives people a chance to break the poverty cycle and usually involves only small amounts of money to do so, hence the term ‘microfinance’.

It’s inspiring to see how one small loan can change someone’s life; Max and his family are just one of many who have benefited from the scheme.

In April 2011, Max was granted an agricultural loan which gave him the opportunity to expand his coffee and banana plantations by two acres – from 1.5 acres to 3.5 acres. Before this he was only able to reap very few fruits and coffee beans, so the income that he generated was only enough to cover bare essentials such as food and basic shelter.

Over the course of the last two years, Max has been busy tending to his increased crops, and the coffee bean plants have just started flowering so they are now ready for harvesting. The banana plants are also producing fruits and almost on a daily basis!

As a result of the increased harvest, Max has been able to generate a greater income, enabling him to build a new house for his family and to pay for his children’s school fees. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities for his children, now that they can go to school and learn!

With the coffee and banana plants now in full bloom, Max intends to use some of the income generated to help him plant an additional 1.5 acres, taking him to a total of five acres by 2015.

Being able to borrow funds to start up such projects is an important step towards sustainability, it gives people opportunities they might not otherwise have had. It empowers communities and helps people like Max achieve their dreams.

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The Cotton On Foundation is the Cotton On Group’s philanthropic arm, funding projects in Australia and overseas through a unique partnership with customers and employees. We have a number of designated initiatives currently underway and unfortunately are unable to support additional projects at this time.

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