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A decade of impact

Friday, 15 Feb 2013

VisionFund honours its clients in its tenth anniversary year

  • VisionFund has disbursed 6.6 Million loans (2003 - 2012)
  • The value of these loans amounts to US$3.5 Billion
  • The average annual repayment stands at 97% (from 2003 - 2011) 

LONDON – 15 February, 2013 – VisionFund, the microfinance not-for-profit partner of global humanitarian charity World Vision, today announced its celebration of ten years supporting children, families and communities to nurture sustainable livelihoods in developing countries through provision of its microfinance services. The organisation will be honouring its clients throughout the year with a series of profiles celebrating their achievements.

The first of such profiles is Genevieve’s story. In 2003, VisionFund provided a loan to Davina, wife and mother of six children in a remote northern island of the Philippines. Davina’s family had fallen into financial difficulties as her husband was forced to take a job for less money due to ill health. This resulted in her eldest daughter, Genevieve, having to discontinue her education as her parents could not afford to send her to the secondary school on the Philippines mainland. 

With a loan from VisionFund of US$70, Davina started her own business trading Sea Cucumbers for export to China. Over the last ten years Davina has grown her business and can now afford to send all of her children to school. Today, Genevieve has graduated and is teaching at a primary school while studying for her masters to qualify her to teach secondary level. She regularly sends money home to help pay for her brothers’ and sisters’ education and she is proud of being a good role model for her younger siblings.

Lending Vision Since 2003

VisionFund was founded in 2003 as a ‘global capital fund’ to manage a supply of lending capital that could be moved from country to country in support of World Vision’s humanitarian efforts.

The mission was later expanded and today, VisionFund manages a network of microfinance institutions in 36 developing countries around the world including Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and Eastern Europe. VisionFund maintains its close relationship with World Vision and works to economically develop poor communities facing the debilitating effects of political unrest, wars, climate change, natural disasters and long-term poverty.

Scott Brown, CEO, VisionFund said, “We believe it’s our unique partnership with World Vision which makes VisionFund’s work highly effective. I have seen first-hand the results of our integrated approach, where microfinance is one of many poverty interventions that creates lasting change for families and the wider community.   Working with communities to build economic activities in a gradual and sustainable manner over a period of many years enables them to adjust and develop, resulting in longer lasting change.”

“While I am proud of our achievements and sincerely humbled by those of our clients, there is still much work for us to do. We have set ourselves tough targets to impact the lives of over 3.5 million children annually from the world’s poorest regions by 2015,” continued Mr Brown.

During 2013, VisionFund will mark its anniversary with a number of initiatives showing how over a period of time, microfinance can bring real and enduring change to people’s lives and communities. The VisionFund anniversary campaign may be followed on its special edition anniversary website http://www.visionfund.org/ten and visitors are invited to engage through Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Evolution of the microfinance sector

As a leading global microfinance organisation, VisionFund plays a key role in helping the microfinance sector to continue to strive towards adopting best practice. VisionFund is a member of the Microfinance CEO Working Group which calls for their industry peers to take action and strive for better ways to provide financial services to the poor.   VisionFund also endorses and participates in a number of industry initiatives:

  • The Smart Campaign - supports institutions as they ensure that they treat clients fairly and respectfully and avoid the harm that improper use of financial products can sometimes cause; 
  • MicroFinance Transparency - focuses on moving microfinance to full pricing transparency;  
  • The Social Performance Task Force - develops universal standards for social performance management; and
  • Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) – measures poverty levels to ensure that VisionFund’s MFIs lend to the right target groups.