Minister Attends Bedford Park Festival

Hilary Benn MP checks out the work of the Microloan Foundation

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A Thousand Thanks for Chiswick Charity backs festival charities

Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn MP, met MicroLoan Foundation Trustee, Caroline Ryan, and her daughter Sarah at the Bedford Park Festival

The Bedford Park Festival - Full programme


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Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for International Development, visited the Bedford Park Festival last weekend to talk to representatives of Chiswick-based charity the MicroLoan Foundation, St.Michael and All Angels’ charity of the year for 2004. The MicroLoan Foundation, run entirely by volunteers in Chiswick, helps poor communities in Malawi to become self-sufficient.

“We invited Mr. Benn to come to our stand at the Festival because we were lucky enough to receive funding from his department last year,” said volunteer Lynette Royle of the MicroLoan Foundation. “He is extremely well informed about the problems of Africa and I felt that he was genuinely moved by the plight of the people we are trying to help.

He should have been impressed by the charity's track record so far, with over 1,200 loans made and a repayment rate of 97% which compares very favourably with what most bank managers would expect! And being a charity of course this means that the money repaid will be re-cycled to help more families in desperate need.

The MicroLoan Foundation is raising an additional £300,000 to cover their expansion programme in Malawi. It is one of the charities benefiting from donations made by for newsletter subscriptions made during the Festival.

June 15, 2004