Here you will find the answers to the most common questions related to the Malawi Challenge. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you can't find the answers to your questions.
Who are the MicroLoan Foundation?
Will I need a Visa?
What are the Embassy contact details?
What is the currency of Malawi?
What spending money will I need?
What is the electrical voltage and which plugs in Malawi?
What Time Zone is Malawi in?
What is the security situation in Malawi?
Where can I get a sponsorship form?
What's the climate of Malawi?
The MicroLoan Foundation is a registered charity 1104287 and a US tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization.
How MicroLoan Helps Those Who Others Won't
The charity provides loans to groups of 10-18 women. Each group has its business ideas appraised and receives eight training sessions covering topics such as book keeping and cash flow. All group members are required to save money as a source of security. Each woman receives her loan as a cheque and opens an account at a designated bank. Individuals in the group then establish small commercial ventures. Groups meet with a loan officer every two weeks to review their progress. Repayments against loans are made fortnightly by each group member. Where a business is not going well it is the responsibility of the MicroLoan loan officer to get things back on track.
MicroLoan in Action - read stories from the women we help
Loans typically last for four months. Each group member is eligible to receive up to four loans after which their business should be commercially viable. Loans are small – on average £67 per individual. Interest of 20% is charged in keeping with the local economy. Should an individual want to develop a business further they may receive a bridging loan of £140-£350, or access our MicroVentures services. And here's the real beauty in MicroLoan - because we offer a hand up not a hand out, when the women repay their microloans, we give it to another woman....when she repays it we give to another....and so on...your donations keep on helping over and over again
To find out more go to: www.microloanfoundation.org
British nationals and US citizens do not require a visa in advance for tourist visits. Visitors are usually granted 30-day tourist visas at no charge on arrival. It is recommended that you carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months from the proposed date of entry. If you are not British or American please visit your local Malawi High Commission for details of immigration requirements.
British High Commission in Malawi
British High Commission,
PO Box 30042, Lilongwe 3
Tel:(265) (1) 772400
Malawi High Commission in London
Malawi High Commission
36 John Street
London WC1N 2AT
web site: www.malawihighcommission.co.uk
US Embassy in Malawi
Area 40, City Center,
Mailing address: PO Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi.
Telephone: (265) 1-773-166, 1-773-367 (if dialling within Malawi add "0" before the "1")
Fax: (265) 1-774-976 (if dialling wihin Malawi add "0" before the "1")
Malawian Embassy in Washington, United States
Embassy of Malawi in Washingon DC, United States,
2408 Massachusetts Avenue
Phone: +(1) 202-797-1007
Local currency is Malawi Kwacha (MWK) . We recommend you bring GB Sterling or US Dollars, which can be exchanged for local currency at the airport in Lilongwe. We recommend that you bring around £150 - £200 with you for the week, depending on how much souvenir shopping you intend to do! You will find that cash machines are fairly sparse, and are only found in the international airport and larger towns. Credit cards are not accepted anywhere except for the top hotels.
In November 2011 the exchange rate was: GBP(£) 1 = 253 MWK (try this currency converter)
There will be little opportunity to spend money on the Trek itself. Staff employed by the travel company such as porters, camp staff, cooks and guides will generally be local Malawian staff. If you would like to tip the local staff we suggest £30 per participant as a guideline and all tips will be pooled and divided equally among the staff. There will be an opportunity for limited souvenir and gift shopping .
The Malawian plug system is the same as the UK so you won't need any adaptors. US citizens will need an adaptor to use electrical appliances. Go to www.walkabouttravelgear.com for more information. There will be no electricity in the mountain huts at Mulanje and electricity supply can be a little unreliable so we recommend you minimise the number of electronic gadgets you bring with you. It can be very liberating!
Local Malawi time is GMT+2 hours (standard time)
Crime is limited in this area but you’re advised not to leave valuables and possessions unattended and take the usual precautions with regards to carrying your money in a money belt.
You can download and print this sponsorship form.
Send it with your cheque made payable to "MicroLoan Foundation" to: MicroLoan Foundation, Malawi Challenge, Lamb House, Church Street, London W4 2PD
Malawi's climate is typical of sub-Saharan Africa. The best time to visit is in the winter months (May - October) which is the cool, dry season. November - April is hot and humid and is also the rainy season. By European standards the winter weather in September/October will be very warm and sunny but the evenings may get cooler. The nights on Mount Mulanje can get cold so layers are important as well as good sun protection. (See Kit list)