VisionFund Cambodia is privileged to serve low-income Cambodians who are mostly living in rural areas by providing small loans and other financial services to empower poor women and their families to improve the lives of children and unlock the potential for the communities to flourish.
As of 31 December 2013, 82% of VisionFund Cambodia’s 191,970 clients are engaged through Community Bank, one of our three lending methodologies, which is specifically designed for poor micro-entrepreneurs with the loan sizes ranging from US$20 to US$350.
VisionFund Cambodia’s pro-poor approach is accompanied by other socially-oriented initiatives to better our social performance including credit with special and flexible conditions to tailor to and meet the needs of our target customers:
CHILD SAVINGS PROGRAM
Since mid-2014, VisionFund has worked collaboratively with World Vision Cambodia to encourage parents in communities to save money for their children. An initial value of 20000KH (US$5) was deposited by World Vision Cambodia into the savings accounts of more than 15,000 children. These savings accounts are designed to encourage families to continue making savings deposits over the long-term in order to enable their children to pursue their dreams.
LOANS FOR WATER AND SANITATION HYGIENE (WASH)
- Loan for Clean Water: VisionFund Cambodia has partnered with PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) and Hydrologic Social Enterprise since early 2011 to give loans to community people in several provinces, such as KSC, KDL, TKO, KCM, KCC, PUS, BTB, BTM, KPT, SRP to enable them to buy water filters to promote clean water in the community. This initiative promotes good health care with positive behavior change amongst community people towards using water purifiers for safe water consumption. We currently have 31,924 clients with a total loan portfolio of US$842,541.
- Loan for Sanitation Financing: VisionFund Cambodia has also partnered with PATH and iDE (International Development Enterprise) in early 2012, with WaterSHED in mid-2012 to pilot sanitation financing loan or loan for latrines in Kandal province and Battambang province respectively, and Habitat for Humanity Cambodia in 2013 in SRP, to gauge the product demand in the communities. We’ve currently had 9,055 clients with a loan portfolio of $768,908,
LOAN FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
VisionFund Cambodia has launched the “Solar Energy Loan" in partnership first with ISS (International Solar Solutions) and recently with KAMWORKS. We offer loan to clients to purchase solar kits for home lighting as part of promoting child education at night and contributing to the reduction of global greenhouse effect. This initiative took off as a pilot in Kampong Thom in 2011 and recently in late 2013 in Kratie with KAMWORKS and overall served roughly about 25 clients with US7, 288 loan portfolio.
CREDIT WITH HEALTH EDUCATION
We first piloted a social product called “Credit with Health Education” to deliver health conversation, awareness and practices in WVC Koh Andaet ADP. After the pilot, in 2012 we rolled it out with WVC across all the ADPs (Area Development Programs) in TKOand in late 2013 in BTB. Thousands of community members including 3,789 VisionFund Cambodia clients attended basic health sessions delivered by WVC ADP staff on topics about dengue fever, diarrhea, food demonstration, hand washing, nutrition, and general hygiene, delivered by WVC ADP staff.
VisionFund Cambodia developed a special loan product to target families whose children with outstanding academic performance cannot pursue their higher education or vocational skills training due to their financial constraints. The education loan amounts are up to US$2,000 and are repayable in installment for up to five years. It enables borrowers’ children to complete vocational skills training, a four-year Bachelor’s Degree program or a Master’s Degree program. We currently have 555 clients (US$245,330 loan portfolio). It is noted that the number of clients has significantly increased in 2013 for this education loan product.
LOAN FOR AGRICULTURE COOPERATIVES (ACs) FACILITATED BY WORLD VISION CAMBODIA
VisionFund Cambodia started to offer Social Cooperative Loan for ACs, which are facilitated by WVC, with a favourable interest rate in late 2013. The loan from VisionFund will allow them to have adequate capital to start up and or/ expand their cooperative business, such as purchasing fertilizer for rice farming, setting up gas station, constructing store for distributing agriculture products, etc. Currently, 13 ACs facilitated by WVC in KDL, TKO, KCC, KPT and SRP, have accessed loan from VisionFund at a total portfolio of $71,500 to start up and or/ expand their current businesses. More ACs will approach VisionFund for such an available loan from time to time.
LOAN FOR VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS AND CASH-FOR-WORK PROJECT
The effect of the devastating 2009 Ketsana on the lives of thousands of Cambodians in several northern and north-eastern provinces prompted VisionFund Cambodia to innovate a special loan for the victims and others affected by natural disasters, such as floods, drought spells, storms, etc.
The Express (Emergency) Loan is designed for the affected households to restart or start small business or agricultural activities to increase their household income in the aftermath of natural disasters. The loan sizes range up to US$250 and do not require any collateral.
Special attention and support is provided for this group of clientele, including assistance in formulating the business plan and money management to ensure that our loan will not add further financial stress and burden to them. We’ve currently served 212 clients (US$28,418 loan portfolio) for this particular loan product.
LOAN FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Cambodia records one of the highest rates of people with disabilities in the world after prolonged civil war and consequential poverty. To play a role in empowering this particular group, VisionFund Cambodia delivers loans to clients with some forms of disabilities. The financial aid offers hope and restores self-esteem to many disabled Cambodians. We currently have 428 disabled clients (US$151,076 loan portfolio).
LOAN FOR HIV/AIDS AFFECTED, ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN HOUSEHOLDS
In partnership with the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance (KHANA), VisionFund Cambodia began to offer financial services to HIV/AIDS affected and orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) households in Kampong Cham in 2007, with the aim to overcome barriers to economic opportunities faced by them. The innovative microfinance approach, the first of its kind in Cambodia, continues and even expands further with WVC until today. We’ve currently served 244 HIV/AIDS affected and OVC households (US$55,691 loan portfolio) in all the provinces/ cities we operate. With microfinance, the typically marginalized groups can increase their income, better adhere to antiretroviral therapy, experience less stigma and discrimination and regain optimism for their lives.
LOAN TO PROMOTE CHILDREN'S RIGHTS
VisionFund Cambodia collaborates with the national offices of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Plan International Cambodia to provide loans to families in impoverished households with the aim to generate income and with an emphasis on protecting the rights of children.
The partnerships are intended to enable vulnerable children to enjoy better opportunities including access to education instead of needing to work to support their families. An estimated 19,605 children were currently impacted by the loans of US$2,145,638, given to the families of the targeted groups in Phnom Penh, its outskirts and Kampong Cham and Siem Reap.
CHILD SCHOLARSHIP/BEST CLIENT PROGRAM
To help instil hope and aspiration for Cambodia’s next generation, VisionFund Cambodia has offered scholarships to children of clients since 2007. To date, 54 children of our clients have received annual cash scholarship worth US$100 to go toward school materials while the remaining funds are kept as child’s savings till the completion of their high school.
The scholarship inspires clients, especially rural villagers, to place greater value and importance on their child’s education, a sector seemingly to be less attractive in rural areas. It is one of the benefits given to our best clients selected annually based on a number of criteria including their success in using the loan in generating far-reaching impact for their own households. An outstanding client who uses our financial services effectively serves as a role model to inspire success in. Over the past four years, 67 of our best performing clients have been selected to represent the majority of VisionFund Cambodia’s clients who have enjoyed better living standards thanks to our loans.
FINANCIAL EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT MESSAGES
As part of improving loan quality with a strong social focus, VisionFund Cambodia has provided financial education and development messages to create financial strength, one client at a time. Clients receive consultations on businesses and cash management including tips for cost minimization and profit maximization. VisionFund Cambodia staff also actively promote social messages educating clients about domestic violence, HIV & AIDS prevention, child’s rights, gender equity and other social issues.
VisionFund staff have delivered two types of financial education such as basic financial education for clients during loan promotion and client orientation and comprehensive financial education during loan disbursement and or/ collection. As of end of 2013, we have delivered basic financial education for 100% of new incoming clients and comprehensive financial education for over 50% of CB clients.
SAFETY NET FOR THE POOR
VisionFund Cambodia’s clients enjoy a safety net for financial peace of mind as they and their family members are entitled to a form of credit life insurance with funeral allowance as additional benefits packaged in cooperation with our affiliate, World Vision Cambodia.
In 2013, benefits worth US$126,650were paid out to beneficiaries of 861 deceased clients and clients’ deceased spouses and children. About 188,362 clients have currently been covered with such additional benefits. The benefits have been used to pay off debts and cover funeral cost, thereby reducing the financial burden for poor VisionFund Cambodia clients or their families who normally rely on their neighbors’ donations, savings and asset liquidation.
Also in late 2012, VisionFund Cambodia started to partner with PKMI (Prevoir Kampuchea Micro life Insurance Plc), a French affiliate insurance company, to pilot micro health and disabilities insurance for clients in Pursat, Battambang and Siem Reap. Clients who purchase this insurance will receive such coverage as surgery, in-patient treatment, and other accident-related treatments. Until recently, we have about 1,378 clients who are covered by this insurance package with 18 claims.