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Country: Malawi

Dorka is a 42 year old farmer from Malawi. With support from Opportunity International, she has been able to invest in her farm, overcome challenges following Cyclone Freddy, and build a brighter future for her and her children. 

Dorka lives in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, with her husband and two children. Rural people like Dorka are often unable to access financial support and services. 

When she was thirteen, Dorka left school and went into farming. She now runs a small-scale farming business, cultivating sweet potatoes, maize and fruit trees.

Dorka joined a Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA), who Opportunity International provided with access loans, business and finance training and a mentorship programme, helping Dorka and her group members to invest in and grow their businesses. With the profit from her business, Dorka has big plans for her future.

My goal is to eventually upgrade my house with cement. I also managed to purchase six goats, which I plan to sell in the future to raise money for my children’s school fees.

Unfortunately Dorka and many of our other clients in Malawi faced a significant setback when a Severe Tropical Cyclone hit Malawi in February 2023. Many people lost their homes and livelihoods, some even lost sadly lost their lives.

 Everything was washed away. I am now left with no returns for the labour I put in.

(See the right-hand image of Dorka showing how high the flood water was on her crops). 

With the support of Opportunity International, Dorka has been able to rebuild her farm and is now better prepared for future extreme weather events.

For Dorka, being given access to loans, training and mentorship has empowered her to build a better future for herself and her family.

It is important that women like me have access to mentorship programmes such as this one, as we face many challenges at home and need to learn how to handle them by running our own businesses where profits can be used to buy basic household necessities.

I hope to eventually achieve my vision for the future: to run a big and stable business that provides for me and my family, whilst continuing my charitable work with the VSLA group.