A special gift awaits Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), popularly known as Banki Yanga (My Bank) and its local clients on Valentines’ Day, February 14, 2015, when Opportunity International Germany (OI Germany) is expected to officially handover a fleet of 16 VW Amarok 4×4 vehicles donated to the bank for its microfinance projects aimed at uplifting lives of poor Malawians.
OI Germany sourced the 16 top-of-the-range 4×4 Amaroks, all valued at over MK300,000 (About US $700 million) from the German manufacturing company Volkswagen, which has since entered into a dealership agreement with CFAO Malawi.
A group of 44 German nationals and two other individuals from the United Kingdom volunteered to go on a charity tour, dubbed ‘go4school’ Charity Rally for Malawi 2015 and drove the vehicles from Namibia through Zambia to Malawi, where the group has been inspecting some of the microfinance projects by OIBM that have touched on lives of many Malawians.
The team left Namibia on January 31, 2015, passing through deserts, forests, towns and cities before reaching Malawi through the Zambia-Malawi border in Mchinji district on Tuesday, February 10, 2014.
After the 3,500 Km journey, the team was met by officials from OIBM, CFAO and members from the press at CFAO premises in Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe before being hosted to a reception dinner at River Side Hotel.
Welcoming the team at Riverside Hotel, OIBM Chief Executive Officer Cosmus Kuwouche hailed OI Germany and its international sponsors for the big gesture. He also thanked the 46 men and women of valor for volunteering to drive the vehicles to Malawi.
“Malawi has a population of about 14.8 million people and eighty percent of the population is in rural areas. Most of the people living in the rural areas are poor and mainly rely on agriculture to earn their living. They are excluded from banking and other financial services. These are the people we at OIBM strive to serve.
“We have a number of microfinance projects aimed at uplifting the lives of poor people and improving the education of boys and girls especially those living in rural areas. We go into the villages and teach the people how to farm, how to borrow money as well as do business and how to service their loans,” said Kowouche.
The OIBM CEO urged OI Germany and its other international partners not to stop from there but continue supporting his organization: “All the vehicles that you have given us will be put to good use and we are going to reach out to many lives because of these vehicles. Our plea is that you should not stop there. You should continue rendering your support to the bank so that we improve the well being of many Malawians,” he said.
In order to get first hand information on the local situation and appreciate how the OIBM microfinance projects have been impacting on lives of the poor, the team went on a tour of projects in Kasungu and Salima on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively and is expected to visit more projects in the southern region district of Mulanje today (Friday, February 13, 2015) before officially handing over the vehicles in Blantyre on Valentines’ Day.
Spokesman of the tour Hendrik Vodegel said in an interview with Nyasa Times after the tour of central region districts that the group was excited and touched with what they have seen.
“It has been a wonderful experience. We are so much impressed with the great work that OIBM is doing. We have also been able to appreciate the problems the local people are facing and we will see what we can support after going back,” said Vodegel.
Meanwhile, CFAO has donated MK1 million to help boost the microfinance projects being undertaken by Banki Yanga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :