Melfete is a 63-year-old successful Romani woman from the Roma vulnerable ethnic minority community of northeastern Albania. She is married and has four adult children. All of them live in a little town of not more than 15,000 residents.
Since the beginning of the regime collapse, she separated herself from the rest of her community, in search of a better life. Even though she had never gone to school or received any education whatsoever, she was able to open a business in shoe repairing. Melfete had practiced the skills since she was 20 years old and has now become an expert shoemaker. Everyone in the town respects her and almost everyone has become her client.
Melfete is requesting a loan from Kiva via the VisionFund Albania institution and is seeking a positive reception from the lenders. She wants to buy materials for repairing shoes.
Her future plans include expansion of the store and hiring someone to assist her.
About VisionFund Albania
VisionFund Albania is a micro-finance subsidiary of child hunger nonprofit World Vision International. Striving to improve child welfare, the organization offers a variety of loan products designed for rural, traditionally underserved clients and their families. These products include agriculture, business and household improvement loans, as well as "integration loans" targeted to help the poorest, most vulnerable Albanian households acquire value chain resources.
While VFA is focused on the empowerment of the poor overall, it pays special attention to women. About 60% of loans to entrepreneurs on Kiva go to women.