Veledin lives in rural southeastern Albania, where the majority of people in the villages focus on livestock as the main source of income.
Veledin is a 56-year-old villager and a married father of six who has been doing livestock for nearly 10 years; he sells the raw milk to a nearby dairy farm.
He and his family literally fall below the poverty level, and to add to their poverty this past month, they were asked to pay a farmer's contribution as others do in such similar activities.
In Albania, there is a law that all 'active individuals'. including self-employed farmers, must contribute into the social insurance scheme.
Farmers and others who are self-employed pay a fixed sum, as well as a set amount of their profits. The contributions are 'registered', but immediately pay out benefits to those who are retired or have disabilities. Benefits for those paying in now are paid for by the younger generation of workers.
This is the reason why Veledin is requesting a loan for the very first time.
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.