Don’t forget how to smile – Margherita Fabbri

The smiling Margherita

Margherita Fabbri is a 29 year old Italian consultant, specialized in development economics and in particular on development strategies for small and medium enterprises, microfinance and gender equity issues. Before she came to Malawi she has been living in Italy, Belgium, Peru and the United States. She says she loves travelling and spend significant amounts of time abroad, ‘cause I found this is the only way to get a bit closer to different cultures and new people, learning from them and sharing experiences, trying to get a bit better every time’. Interesting indeed! Patrick Bwanali had a chat with her and this is what she says…

Why are you in Malawi?

I am in Malawi to work on a 3-month technical assistance on some of the activities carried out within the Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust, in Balaka. While working with AYCT staff, I represent the Italian agency LAMA and the Italian construction company CMB, which is financing part of the project. The objective of this collaboration/assistance is to improve the work relationships with the Italian partners, getting a better understanding of the current needs of the project and trying to find a better allocation of the resources financed by CMB.

While in Malawi what have you done so far?

I have been working hand in hand with our Malawian partners in Andiamo, and especially on issues related to the recently created construction company Marandimo, as well as on the analysis of the productive sections of AYCT, in order to develop better work strategies, planning and book-keeping methods. Also, I have been working together with the women members of the microfinance rotating fund established a couple of years ago within Andiamo, in order to support them to develop reliable and sustainable business ideas, that could be easily financed in the future through the injection of new resources in the rotating fund.

Some thousands kilometres away from home, what do you miss from home?

The only thing I really miss when I am abroad are my friends and my families, as I wish they could be here with me to share my experiences, and have the privilege of seeing what I see and understand by themselves what is sometimes difficult to explain with words…

What was your first impression when you first came to Malawi?

I was astonished by HOW red was the red earth…!

In your opinion, what must be done to achieve maximum results from the Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust and CMB collaboration?

I wish the cooperation will keep on being fostered strongly by both sides, and I think that the first thing we should maintain is constancy in communications, since this is the first step for an enduring and productive collaboration.  In the specific work they lead together, CMB and AYCT are faces of the same coin and I think both of them should definitely grab the opportunity to learn a lot from each other and from this unique experience.

Anything to say to people both in Malawi and Italy?

Italians, don’t forget how to smile and, if you do, come to Malawi and refresh your memory!

Malawians, never never never give up!

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