SEATTLE, March 8, 2011—Today, all over the world, people are celebrating the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a holiday devoted to honoring the women who have inspired us over the past century and celebrating their achievements.
World Vision, a global leader in microfinance and poverty reduction, celebrates the achievements of hardworking women in communities where we work—women like Nilza and Chheang who are helping to lift their families out of poverty through small business efforts in their communities—while also recognizing that millions of women in the world are still unable to meet even the basic needs of their families.
“Today is a wonderful day to honor women around the world,” said Karen Larsen, Director of WorldVisionMicro.org, a new site that has connected thousands of Americans with struggling entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. “But let’s also take action for women who continue to struggle to meet the basic needs of their families. We know that investing in women is one of the best ways to improve the lives of children and entire communities.”
In honor of International Women’s Day, give the gift of a loan through World Vision Micro and help bring one woman’s dreams to life. You can find the stories and photos of real women in Armenia, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines and Rwanda, and support them through the donation of a microloan. A small loan enables a woman to start or expand her business. The income gives her access to essentials like healthcare, nutritious food for her family, an education for her children, and the opportunity to save money for the future.
On the site, you can search for entrepreneurs by country, business type, gender, or loan size, and then view photos and information on the entrepreneur’s business before making their donation. To ensure that funds are distributed efficiently to its entrepreneurs, World Vision pre-funds loans; a donation for a specific entrepreneur then backfills that same microloan. The majority of Micro’s loans go to entrepreneurs living in areas where World Vision is addressing other development needs, such as safe water, health care, nutrition and education, leading to an even more significant impact.
A microloan is a smart way to help women in poverty. Most World Vision loan recipients are women, who consistently use their extra income to improve their children’s health and education. And the benefits don’t stop there – each repaid microfinance loan is recycled to assist even more entrepreneurs in the same community, spurring the creation and growth of more small businesses that can help family after family.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org