Gjystina is 52 years old, married, and has six children, the youngest of whom is 12 years old. They live in the northeast of Albania. In the region where they reside, there are power outages all the time, and flooding as well. While last year, their region was covered in snow that brought severe loss in almost every household, this year they are suffering from flooding. Despite all the struggles caused by weather conditions, Gjystina has been operating an agricultural business for almost nine years.
“With all the hard work, I would have probably secured a better life for all of us; yet, after all the extreme weather events, at least I can bring the basics for my family,” she said. “I want to build a stable now for the animals, because I have been sheltering them at my neighbors' place during these past cold and rainy months,” Gjystina added.
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.