The actress visits villagers on behalf of a microfinance organization

By Stephen M. Silverman
May 14, 2007 03:45 PM

Natalie Portman Video Diary #1

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Is Natalie Portman the next LonelyGirl? The actress is getting into the video blogging business, having posted her first video diary from her travels as an “Ambassador of Hope” for FINCA, the Foundation for International Community Assistance.

In the brief video clip, Portman, 24, and two loan officers for the group drive in Mexico on their way to visit a FINCA Village Bank and see how its microloans have helped local women start businesses.

FINCA plans to release three more videos with Portman in the coming weeks on its page, a rep for the organization tells PEOPLE.

Portman co-chairs FINCA’s Village Banking Campaign, which aims to bring financial services to one million of the world’s lowest-income families a year by 2010.

The actress has worked with FINCA for the past four years, and has also traveled to Uganda, Guatemala and Ecuador on its behalf. She recently told of one trip: “I was in Uganda and I met this woman who had 10 children. … [Her husband] kicked her out and she was living on 80 cents a day. …

“FINCA gave her a $50 loan 11 years ago, and she now has, I think it’s a $2,000 loan, and she owns a huge restaurant. She sends one of her daughters to university and she employs seven other women in her village. You just see how in one generation someone can turn it around.”