Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Field Partner: VisionFund Albania uses lending to keep kids fed and in school

Join us in welcoming our newest Field Partner, VisionFund Albania!

The microfinance arm of child hunger nonprofit World Vision International, VisionFund has three branches in  Albania serving vulnerable and poor communities. Its mission: to improve child welfare by giving parents new opportunities and strengthening their communities. To accomplish this, the organization offers a range of loan products tailored to the needs of remote, under-served borrowers.

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Given its high unemployment rate and large rural population, the country's microfinance sector plays a critical role in supporting economic activity and boosting opportunity.

In particular, VisionFund strongly believes that microfinance should positively impact the lives of children. Thriving businesses enable families to feed the hearts, minds and bellies of the next generation.

Kiva loans will enable VisionFund to help more people develop micro-enterprises and small businesses, promote job creation and improve living conditions overall.

VisionFund Albania's portfolio includes borrowers like Zoje (above), who is using a $950 loan to purchase a motorcycle to deliver her diary products to local markets. Living in a rural community means that transportation limits her customer base and the price she can charge, but the motorcycle opens up new possibilities and increases efficiency.

When asked about the impact the loan had on her life, Zoje simply replied "positive," echoing the sentiment behind this new partnership. Increasing resources through Kiva and VisionFund Albania will make positive changes in the lives of Albanians today, and lay the foundation for a brighter future.