Throughout our network of 28 microfinance institutions, we regularly survey our clients to understand how our work has improved the well-being of their children and how we can improve our services to further the lives of children.
Child Well-Being Outcome Trends
At the core of VisionFund’s work, child well-being forms the basis of all our loans, savings and insurance products. A child living in a household that has access to financial services is more likely to have nutritious food on the table, a proper education, and the health services they need to grow up thriving. Our financial services are one of the ways families can break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and we are committed to measuring child well-being outcomes (CWBOs) at every stage of our work.
Using a sample size of 8,305 clients, we measured the number of CWBOs they reported from FY16 to FY18. For most CWBOs, there is an increase in the percentage of a CWBO being reported by the same clients. There is a significant increase in the percentage of clients reporting improvement in sufficient drinking water for their children.
Child Well-being Outcomes
The Child Well-being Outcomes are operational outcomes that describe our intentional contribution to the well-being of children, in support of the four Child Well-being Aspirations that we seek to achieve in partnership with World Vision.
Aspiration 1: Children enjoy good health
- Children are well-nourished
- Children are protected from infection, disease and injury
- Children and their caregivers can access essential health services
Aspiration 2: Children are educated for life
- Children read, write and use numeracy skills
- Children make good judgements, can protect themselves, manage emotions and communicate ideas
- Adolescents are ready for economic opportunity
- Children access and complete basic education
Aspiration 3: Children experience the love of God and their neighbours
- Children grow in their awareness and experience of God's love in an environment that recognises their freedom
- Children enjoy positive relationships with peers, family and community members
- Children value and care for others and the environment
- Children have hope and a vision for the future
Aspiration 4: Children are cared for, protected and participating
- Children are cared for in a loving and safe family and community environment, with safe places to play
- Parents or caregivers provide well for their children
- Children are celebrated and registered at birth
- Children are respected participants in decisions that affect their lives
Child Well-Being and Microfinance
At the core of VisionFund’s work, child well-being drives the design of all our loans, savings and insurance products.
A child living in a household that has access to financial services is more likely to have nutritious food on the table, a full education, and the health services they need to grow up thriving. Our financial services help families to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and we are committed to measuring child well-being outcomes (CWBOs) at every stage of our work.
Using a sample size of 8,305 clients, we measured the number of CWBOs they reported from FY16 to FY18. For most CWBOs, there is an increase in the percentage of a CWBO being reported by the same clients. There is also a significant increase in the percentage of clients reporting improvement in sufficient drinking water for their children.
The Role of Caregivers
Adult caregivers who have access to financial services are able to afford better goods and services for the children in their care. Studies have shown that microfinance leads to substantially better impacts on access to education and household needs for both microfinance clients and their children.
Poverty-related stress has significant effects on children’s well-being, including on outcomes as serious as delays in their overall development. Home lives are likely to be less safe for children living in poverty, and other deprivations, such as food or healthcare scarcity, can have lifelong impacts on children’s health and well-being. Families living in poverty are more likely to send their children to work to earn their living, depriving them of education and agency in their futures in order to prevent immediate threats to life and health. Removing the stress related to poverty allows caregivers to provide healthier, safer and more fulfilling environments for their children. VisionFund’s core mission is to reduce these complicated effects of poverty , and currently we help 1.1 million clients provide better lives for their 3.5 million children day-to-day.
We constantly hear from our clients about the pride their children feel for their parents which strengthens family bonds and community relationships. VisionFund client and market-garden owner Yandé, who lives in Senegal, was on her third loan cycle when she realised she had enough money to pay all the fees and expenses for her twin daughters to go university, rather than work in the garden with her. “My children can see that their mother works hard, and they are proud of me because I am always able to provide,” says Yandé, adding with a smile: “Earning money is wonderful.”
Our Child Focused Products
In many countries where VisionFund is active – including Armenia, Dominican Republic, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, India and Mexico – education loans are being tested as a means to improve the well-being of clients and their children through educational opportunities. In Armenia, young adults are empowered to attend university with adult-education loans, improving their future income prospects and the prospects of their own and future children. VisionFund is optimistic about the potential for education loans to improve child well-being outcomes in all its operating contexts.
Stories from the field
Yandé from Senegal sent all her children to school, and even university, thanks to a microfinance partnership with VisionFund.
CGAP's Financial Diaries of the Poor
CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organisations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Read their report into how those living in poverty are spending money.