World Vision originally began its microfinance and savings programme in 1993, but quickly realised the global need for microfinance and the immense role it played in reducing poverty. VisionFund International was then founded in 2003 to manage its network of affiliated microfinance organisations (MFIs).
Since then, VisionFund International has been lending money to people in need of financial services, helping them to start or grow sustainable businesses. Our clients use the income earned to build a better future for their children, for example, through having clean water, nutritious food, education and healthcare.
We currently operate over 30 MFIs in four regions of the globe.
Collectively, we have disbursed over 1.4 million loans, impacting the lives of 3.5 million children.
In Latin America, Guatemala ranks the second highest country for extreme child poverty at 47%. This equates to three million children. Guatemala also ranks as the highest of Latin America countries for chronic malnutrition at nearly 55%.
In Guatemala children suffer great hardship. Many are pulled out of school by their parents at an early age to beg for money or work. Most families can't afford for their children not to work because 57% of the population have an income of less than $2 per day, and nearly 27% of the population are considered to live in 'extreme poverty' with less than $1 per day.
For many years civil war inhibited trade and foreign investment, but with the 1996 peace accords, the gateway to foreign investment and trade were opened. This has created many opportunities for the people of Guatemala. But without training and loans, these dreams become unrealised. We are working to provide opportunities for children and families to thrive.
Our CEO, Carlos Pineda, joined us in April 2012
with over 30 years of experience in banking and
finance. He was previously the Regional Director
of Microfinance in the fourth largest bank in
Guatemala and has extensive experience in this
area. Carlos studied business management and
agricultural studies while at university.
Our microfinance institution has a board of
directors and management team that oversees
the work of the MFI.
We are a four-diamond microfinance provider by MIX Market.
We are also actively involved with the funder CITI Foundation and giving out CITI Awards to business owners throughout their network. These individuals are recognised for their innovative and productive initiatives that positively impact their communities.