What you see in the background of the photograph, is the little family home of Sotirko. She is a 60-year-old mother of five grownup children, who resides in the rural southeastern part of Albania. She is indeed poor, according to our poverty measurement tools. For the past ten years she has been caring for livestock, and she wants to add a dairy cow to her existing little herd, with this loan.
“I have been selling raw milk to a nearby dairy farm and to not complain, I have been able to make a little income out of this. But this little income has enabled me to secure the staple food. I did not know that there were institutions in our region to offer financial services to people in my situation and at my level. I am so very grateful to the loan officer, who made me aware of this, because I can now take advantage of such services just like others,” is what Sotirko said.
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.