We provide opportunities for training and enterprise alongside our 0% micro loans programme. We aim to lift communities out of poverty, through providing the tools and knowledge needed to become self-sufficient and food secure.

An economy dependent on struggling agriculture leaves over half the 18.5m population in poverty. 52% live on less than 23p a day.

LSU creates Sustainable Family Futures through 0% microloans for farming materials, alongside business and permaculture training and mentoring, over 2yrs, to enable enterprise and self-sufficiency.

Through Mother-Baby Wellbeing classes, 3 women's co-operatives were formed,2 bread ovens and 1 soap-making enterprise, and are being mentored.

Tilinanu Vocational Centre offers affordable education to the community with 150 students studying carpentry, computing, tailoring, and engineering.


“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime” - Unknown

The Challenge

Cycle of Poverty: ‘a pattern of behaviours’ or ‘set of factors by which poverty, once started, is likely to continue without intervention’, which lead to unemployment, poor health & disease.

Contributing factors include lack of employment, education, skills, technology, access to resources and opportunity, low salaries and productivity.

The Malawian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, though most employment opportunities exist in rural agricultural work which is hard and is not paid well. Farming is the means by which most people rely on a food source and income.

Food security is the biggest challenge facing most people in Malawi, where a 'hungry season' brings famine 35% of the population, 16.5 million in 2016.

Traditional farming uses damaging fertilisers, relies on few crops, and is dependent on annual rains. Only those able to save enough food or money from the previous harvest have an adequate food supply during growing season. Many over-sell their produce to pay-off debt, school fees, housing, and other day-to-day needs.


How we work

We elevate people from poverty with a leg-up rather than a hand-out, through opportunities to learn and create enterprise.

Sustainable Family Futures provides vulnerable families with 0% microloans, alongside business and permaculture training and mentoring over 2yrs.

Through LSU's microloans scheme, 40 participants received free Adult Literacy classes. Microloans are now integrated into other projects, whilst LSU has expanded Adult Literacy classes at the request of the community.

Women's cooperative enterprises were formed from Mother-Baby Wellbeing classes. Trained in business and given a loan, the groups are supported by a project leader and mentor.

Tilinanu Vocational Centre offers affordable education to the community with 150 students studying carpentry, computing, tailoring, and engineering, which also involves business training.



Looking Towards The Future

We aim to continue empowering families to become self-sufficient through sustainable farming and enterprise, supporting at least 35 families by 2018.

Creating community spaces for Adult Literacy classes and other learning opportunities that create enterprise.

Adult Literacy has expanded from 1 area to 3, with 7 students in 2015, growing to 120 in 2016, and 300 in 2017, and will continue to expand with the training of more teachers. 


  • Over 100 people given business training as part of projects to develop enterprise.
  • 2016 Sustainable Families harvested over 4 times as much as previous years. 100% can feed themselves all year and return first instalments of loans.
  • Expanding Tilinanu Vocational Centre to 4 classrooms, offering affordable education.
  • Free Adult literacy & computing classes delivered to 300 people across 3 areas.
  • 3 co-operative enterprises formed through Mother-baby Wellbeing classes.



  • £300 can fund an adult literacy class for a month
  • £500 can provide one family with a sustainable future
  • £1,000 buys a hectare of farmland and tools to plant crops
  • £5,000 provides computers and learning tools for a vocational training centre
  • £10 000 can build a vocational training centre
  • £15 000 can run an adult training centre for one year




How you can get involved

We believe in partnerships and the power of connection. By working together and through creating opportunities which benefit individuals, organisations communities and influence global trends and policies we succeed in empowering communities in poverty.