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News Blog

A Thanksgiving Gift

by Lydia Baldridge Meier

Two days before Thanksgiving here in the United States, many of us are preparing to spend time with family. For those of you, like me, who do not live near your extended family, the holiday takes on particular importance as it presents a chance to spend time in gratitude with loved ones. I am fortunate that I have another family – I have worked at Opportunity International for more than a dozen years, and I consider not only my colleagues but all of our clients my family. I collect stories and…

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Celebrating Poverty Eradication Day

by Vicki Escarra

When I travel to visit Opportunity International clients around the world, I am consistently inspired by their tenacity, courage and optimism in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. I am reminded that while the nature of our work may technically be in financial services—providing loans, savings, insurance and training so that our clients can grow their businesses and provide for their families—our true purpose is to empower people to live their lives with dignity.  Today, this goal…

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Celebrating Ben - An Amazing Educator - on World Teachers' Day!

by Allison Kooser

Today on World Teachers' Day, we are celebrating amazing teachers around the world. Teachers like Ben who have transformed communities and are bringing up the next generation of leaders. Teachers who are changing the world. Ben Navitcha founded and runs the Ben Nevis Private School near Blantyre, Malawi – a huge primary and secondary school compound that teaches 38 nursery school students, 286 primary school students and 571 secondary school students. His school is beautiful and vibrant and full…

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Opportunity's Partner Healing Fields Foundation collaborates with Stanford Emergency Medicine Department to Improve Health and Wellness in India

by Jennifer Mitrenga

Opportunity International supports a training program in conjunction with Healing Fields Foundation to create Community Health Leaders in India.  Health leaders complete six months of classroom training and a 6-month internship to learn how to identify and address health issues in their community. Water, sanitation and renewable energy are important components of the training. Each leader is able to educate at least 250 households over the course of training.  Overall, more than 3,000 health leaders…

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Opportunity EduFinance Partner in Uganda Named Finalist for European MicroFinance Award

by Opportunity International

The organisers of the European Microfinance Award today announced that Opportunity Bank of Uganda (OBUL) was among its three finalists for the award, which highlights the work of MFIs in enabling access to education for children and/or skill-training for youth and adults to enhance their employment and self-employment opportunities. The Selection Committee for the 7th European Microfinance Award, composed of members of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP)…

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Peace is Possible

by Allison Kooser

Peace isn’t a word we hear very often these days. When we turn on the news, we see reports of bombs and rebels and gun violence. We hear stories of a life taken on the other side of the world, and yet another taken just down the street. We hope for peace, but we don’t see it materializing. If anything, it feels like we are becoming increasingly less peaceful, as opposed to more. If I’m honest, sometimes peace feels impossible. But on a day like today – the International Day of Peace – I…

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Not So Small Change: Meeting Opportunity Clients in Colombia

by Allison Kooser

I sat in the window seat watching the landscape change from paved roads to dirt and brick homes to lean-tos as the bus wove its way up the mountains of southern Bogota. Next to me sat Yaneth, a former guerrilla rebel who now serves as the group lending manager in one of Opportunity’s branch offices. At the top of the mountain, the wind swept our hair and chilled our bones. We tiptoed over discarded garbage that littered the potholed road and made our way to Nubia’s home, then Maria’s. We saw…

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Celebrating Peace in Colombia

by Heather Kaczrowski

After more than 50 years of conflict, Colombians today are celebrating a historic and momentous peace agreement, turning a new page for a country with incredible potential for transformation. The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which is the oldest and largest rebel group in the country, announced Wednesday they had reached a peace agreement to end the longest-running war in the Americas – a deal four years in the making. Though the peace process will…

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Join Global Citizen at the 2016 Youth Advocates Symposium

by Lauren Thorn

Since 2008, Global Citizen has spearheaded events to generate social action and worked with partners like Opportunity to end extreme poverty by 2030. Now, Global Citizen will host the first-ever Youth Advocates Symposium on September 22, 2016 in New York City, the same week as the Global Citizen Festival. The symposium will gather young activists from around the world with unique campaigning and advocacy backgrounds, allowing for an engaging exchange of experiences, strategies and practices geared…

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A "Smart" Approach to Protecting Families in Poverty

by Heather Kaczrowski

Jose Sanchez, like so many parents around the world, worries about his kids. Each day, he gets up early to operate his food cart in the local marketplace, earning as much as he can to provide his children with a better life. No family should be too poor to feel safe. Yet, when parents like Jose have less than $2 a day to live off of, each moment is filled with insecurities. For Jose, it was not knowing when he could feed his children next, or how he’d afford medical care if they got sick. And,…

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