This month we go right around the world to make a loan to a lovely and hard working couple in Korce, Albania. Monika and Gezim have been farmers for their entire married lives of 24 years. They grow beans, peppers and tomatoes in large quantities for sale to the wholesale market.
|Monika and Gezim|
In addition to vegetables, they also have a fruit and nut orchard, where they grow five types of nuts, 30 variety of plums and 50 variety of pears (who knew there were so many?) that they also sell to wholesale buyers.
Their loan is administered through KIVA.org field partner VisionFund Albania, a micro-finance subsidiary of child hunger nonprofit World Vision International. Striving to improve child welfare, the organization offers a variety of loans designed for rural, traditionally underserved clients and their families. These include agriculture, business and household improvement loans, as well as loans to help the poorest, most vulnerable Albanian households acquire resources which enables them to start micro-businesses or produce products which provide income for themselves and their families.
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.