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Monthly Newsletter: January 2020


World Vision is delighted to send you our Executive Briefing for Economic Empowerment. You are an integral part of our work to end extreme poverty by 2030, so we want to keep you updated on our progress!

In this issue, you will find:

  • End of Financial Year Report - VisionFund International
  • The Mango Seller's story
  • Vision Trips & Events available to you
  • Prayer Requests

If you are new to our work, please take a moment to learn about our THRIVE model and how it's impacting lives for good!



End of Financial Year Report – VisionFund International

VF Loan OfficerIn our 16th year of operation, VisionFund continues to deliver impact to families in 28 countries. In partnership with World Vision, we’re supporting livelihoods programming in Area Programs and delivering new, custom services to better serve the most vulnerable. For example, within our THRIVE projects in Malawi, access to financial services through savings groups and microfinance has increased by 64 percentage points from baseline (from 18.1% to 71.1%).

VisionFund’s 2019 financials:

Value of loans disbursed: $694 million

Number of loans disbursed: 1.46 million

Average loan size for a first-time borrower: $435

Number of clients: 1 million

Female clients: 71%

Rural clients: 63%

Smallholder farmer clients: 37%

Jobs created: 251,000

Jobs sustained: 1.4 million

Repayment Rate: 97.1%

Children impacted: 3.48 million

Our Annual Report will be published in March, highlighting some of our most exciting new projects. Some interesting innovations to be looking for in the upcoming annual report include:

  • Savings Group Linkage Loans in Uganda: In May 2019, VisionFund Uganda opened their first branch in the town of Moyo in the West Nile, where they are assisting host and refugee populations to access financial inclusion products in an innovative pilot program.
  • New Insurance Products: Life Insurance, Personal Insurance, Disaster Recovery Insurance and Crop and Livestock Insurance all form part of VisionFund’s ambitious new Insurance portfolio.
  • Smiling with CowSmall and Growing Businesses: Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) in developing countries are often left behind in the financial services market, as they are deemed too small to lend to, yet too large for traditional microfinance. VisionFund is pioneering new ways to support the growth of SGBs. Since the program commenced in 2016, over USD $4.3 million has been disbursed to over 1,250 SGBs in Myanmar, Ghana, Mexico and Sri Lanka, and over 65% of our existing 961 SGB clients are women-led enterprises.
  • Mobile money: By embracing digital technology, VisionFund is able to serve the most rural of our clients with ease, ensuring that nobody is excluded from accessing a sustainable livelihood and a strong future for their families. Mobile money is offering exciting new ways for those in conflict-affected and remote areas to access financial services without putting themselves or their livelihoods at risk.
  • First Bond in Australia: VisionFund International raised AUD$20 million with its first bond issue. In alignment with World Vision’s focus on children’s well-being and with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of promoting sustainable economic growth (SDG 8) and gender equality (SDG 5), the proceeds of the bond will be used for providing financial services, mainly microfinance loans, to families living below the poverty line in developing countries. The bond is being arranged by FIIG Securities Limited (FIIG), Australia’s largest fixed income specialist and represents FIIG’s first foray into impact investment.

The mango-seller at the market, and her story back home

Fatou with mangoesFatou sits at the busy marketplace in the town of Tamba, Senegal, baskets of mangos laid out before her. She buys them from her village and transports them to the market early every morning. A shopper haggling with her over the mangos would not know that earnings from the fruit supports her eleven children.

Fatou is 35 years old but married when she was 15. She says that if she had the choice, she would not have married so young and would have liked to have been educated, but her family had financial difficulties and all the children were expected to help support the household, even if that meant getting married at a young age and moving out.

Fatou’s husband works as a driver and doesn’t earn much, and their family doesn't fit in their small home. Two beds are laid out under a makeshift awning just outside the house. They have no electricity. When Fatou is away at the market, the older children cook and take care of the young ones. Fatou says that their four oldest had to drop out of school to support the family, but that six of her children are still in school.

Fatou with bowlMicrofinance loans from VisionFund helped Fatou’s family with the many small businesses that they have. She has taken three consecutive loans: to support small-trade, to invest in growing groundnuts, and also to buy stocks of groundnuts for reselling. She has also used a portion of her loans to purchase bricks to renovate her shop.

Fatou wants to see her daughters and sons continue in school, get good jobs, and support the family when their parents are no longer able to work. Seventeen-year old Jeneba is still in school and says, “Our mother works very hard. We see her struggling a lot to provide a better life for us. We are going to do our best to pay her back in the future.”  

Fourteen-year old Mariama wants to be a doctor. “We’ve seen our mother struggle to support us—going to the market, coming home late in the evening, making food and taking care of all the children. There is no one to help her. I do not want to get married very young. I want to study,” she says, adding that they want their mother to hold onto these jobs for now, and that soon, they would be able to support her.

In many rural villages in Senegal, girls are married at a young age due to financial difficulties within families. Often uneducated, women end up having large families of their own and are often left to bear the bulk of work in providing for the many children, with little or no help.

Fatou with 2 othersYour financial support provides access to financial inclusion products and business training opens opportunities and possibilities for vulnerable women such as Fatou, enabling them to create avenues of income and overcome financial struggles, ending the cycle of poverty for good.

South Florida Economic Empowerment Summit 

FL Invite

You can still join us February 6-7, 2020 in Naples, FL for an Economic Empowerment Summit. Register here or contact your donor rep for more information.

Upcoming Calendar Events

  • Vision Trips (please contact your World Vision representative about participating):
    • Rwanda (April 27 - May 1, 2020) Join us in Rwanda to see how THRIVE and VisionFund are helping shape the future of farmers and small business owners, particularly the women. 
    • Tanzania (July 6-12, 2020) Join us as we celebrate all the progress we have had in Tanzania through our THRIVE work!
    • Honduras (July 2020) Join us on this multi-generational trip for all ages as we look at the amazing THRIVE work in Honduras!
  • Honduras National Director Jorge Galeano Regional Tour (January 27-31, 2020) - California/Texas
  • Florida Summit (February 6-7, 2020) - Naples, FL REGISTER HERE
  • Zambia National Director John Hasse Regional Tour (February 3-5, 2020 East Coast; February 12-16, 2020 California)
  • Every Last One Conference (March 6-7, 2020) - Dallas, TX REGISTER HERE
  • Fullness of Life: Global Women's Economic Empowerment Summit (August 1-8, 2020) - Lusaka, Zambia

Praises & Prayer Requests


  • Praise for a strong 2019 for VisionFund and all the people we are helping around the world. 
  • Praise for our colleagues in all of our THRIVE countries who are dedicated to the communities that they serve. 
  • Praise that within our THRIVE projects in Malawi, access to financial services through savings groups and microfinance has increased by 64 percentage points from baseline (from 18.1% to 71.1%).


  • Pray for all of the upcoming events and activities that the right people would attend and that we would be able to come alongside them on their journey. 
  • Pray for Christopher Shore, Chief Development Officer for EE who is now halfway through his treatment. As he embarks into the radiation with chemo stage, pray for strength. 
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