Press Release: VisionFund International Celebrates 15 Years
VisionFund International (VisionFund), the mission-focused microfinance subsidiary of children’s charity World Vision, celebrates reaching 15 years in its journey to deliver brighter futures for children and their families through promoting financial inclusion and rural economic development.
Since inception, VisionFund has provided 14.4 million loans totalling around US$8.2 billion, provided financial literacy training and business education, and introduced a variety of microinsurance products to promote resilience. It has served millions of clients, the vast majority of whom have been women and often the sole breadwinner and caregiver for their families. In celebration of VisionFund’s journey to support its clients and their families, VisionFund is sharing its major milestones over the last 15 years.
Penina from Kenya is one of the many women who has benefitted from taking out a small loan as part of VisionFund’s recovery lending programme, an innovation central to its microinsurance offering. In 2016, El Niño inducedflooding destroyed her bean and peanut crops leaving Penina not only no money for replanting but she also could not afford to keep her sons in education. Taking a small loan of around $200 from VisionFund meant she could purchase new seed and fertiliser to replant her farm with maize and to open a small shop selling cups of tea, enabling her to regain her livelihood and support her family.
Today, VisionFund is one of the largest Christian microfinance organisations with a strong focus on social impact; from providing financial literacy and business development training, to product innovation like the introduction of post-disaster recovery lending for communities facing the effects of climate change.
During financial year 2017 (ending October 2018), VisionFund served over 1.1 million clients, with a focus on women and rural agriculture-dependant families. Over 770,000 women benefited from the organisation’s services and 4.1 million children reaped the rewards.
“We are blessed to celebrate this important milestone with industry peers and partners,” says Michael Mithika, President & CEO of VisionFund International. “We will continue to increase our efforts in serving the most vulnerable and continue to forge partnerships that will help us deliver greater impact to communities with little access to basic financial services.”
Operating through a network of microfinance institutions in 28 countries, VisionFund works alongside World Vision to empower families living in impoverished communities with limited access to formal financial services to overcome poverty.
Jean Baptiste Kamate, Partnership Leader – Global Field Operations, World Vision International, says “Congratulations to the staff and organisation on this 15-year journey. VisionFund’s significant role in promoting economic sustainability in our communities is unique to our partnership and we look forward to achieving more together.”
Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer.