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News Blog

Empowered Women Change the World

by Opportunity International

Exploring the Sustainable Development Goals Empowered Women Change the World March 23, 2017 // by Allison Kooser The question is: why? | The Need is Great | The Impact is Significant | The Ripple Effect Changes the World | Opportunity's Response | Empowered Women: The Secret Weapon For those of us working in and supporting international development initiatives, we know that investing in and empowering women and girls is popular and ubiquitous. It is no surprise to us that the Sustainable Development…

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Governor Gives Back on a Big Birthday

by Sarah Tesch

When Jason Williford of Fort Worth, Texas turned 40 last year, he and wife Betsy didn't order black balloons and \"over the hill\" banners. They decided to model Jason's birthday party after their son's 5th birthday party. That's right - Cody Williford's 5th birthday. When Cody turned five a few years ago, he had just been read the book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, by Katie Smith Milway. Cody decided that instead of receiving gifts for his birthday, he wanted to donate his 5th…

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Opportunity International EduFinance, Teach A Man To Fish, and Fundación Paraguaya Partner to Expand School Enterprise Challenge in Tanzania

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International EduFinance, Teach A Man To Fish, and Fundación Paraguaya Partner to Expand School Enterprise Challenge in Tanzania March 10, 2017 // by Nathan Byrd Opportunity International EduFinance, Teach A Man to Fish (TAMTF) and Fundación Paraguaya have agreed to a partnership targeting expansion of the School Enterprise Challenge to in Tanzania.  The partnership will bring business skills to schools, teachers and students, aiming Following an initial outreach to 20 schools, the…

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Beauty After the Storm

by Diane Ferguson

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Opportunity’s Global CEO, Vicki Escarra, to learn about her recent trip to Malawi, Africa. Pen in hand I was prepared to hear about the typical field visit—news about the banks, meetings upon meetings and always a much anticipated tidbit about our dear clients. What I wasn’t prepared for rocked me to my very core. As a 13+ year employee of Opportunity who started working with Vicki on her very first day as CEO, I thought I knew a lot about her. I…

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End Poverty in All Its Forms Everywhere

by Allison Kooser

Exploring the Sustainable Development Goals End Poverty in All Its Forms Everywhere In September 2015, UN leaders from around the world gathered to discuss the future of development. Having spent the previous 15 years making remarkable progress toward a set of targets known as the Millennium Development Goals, these leaders knew that the world still faced tremendous global challenges. Poverty, hunger, disease and violence—while reduced—were not eradicated, and so the UN Sustainable Development…

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A Love Worth Celebrating

by Allison Kooser

When Elton Guazambera was hospitalized last year, his life was filled with uncertainties. Would he recover? What would his long-term diagnosis be? But unlike most of his neighbors in Lilongwe, Malawi, Elton had one thing he didn’t need to worry about: whether he could afford his hospital bills. Elton knew that he could get the treatment he needed because his wife Hanna had spent the last decade carefully building a savings account with Opportunity International. For years, Elton and Hanna have…

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Day 1: The Gift of Education

by Vicki Escarra

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I'm honored to wrap up our special 12 Days of Christmas series by highlighting a gift I received from participating in the inaugural graduation ceremony at Emprendedora Technical High School, which was founded in 2012 in Granada, Nicaragua, a country where more than 48 percent of children never reach the sixth grade. Founded in 2012, the high school is part of Opportunity International’s Community Economic Development (CED) strategy to build on the local…

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Day 2: Tires and Handlebars

by Laura DesGranges

As a new parent, there’s so much I don’t know. Every day is filled with a choose-your-own-adventure series of decisions and frankly, most of the time I’m pretty sure I’m doing it wrong. Advice comes flying at me from all corners—some welcomed, some intimidating, and sometimes in the form of tires and handlebars. When I attended the first graduation of the Emprendedora Technical School in Nicaragua earlier this month, it was not the students I marveled at. Yes, of course they were amazing:…

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Day 3: The Gift of Story

by Lydia Baldridge Meier

I’ve spent more than a dozen years being a storyteller for Opportunity International. Stories go into proposals, reports, cards, letters, articles, videos, speeches. You might think that after a while, stories would start to blur and feel formulaic. But to me, receiving each client’s story is a precious gift that they impart to me – the privilege to bear witness to their journey. Whether they give their story directly to me during a visit, or whether I receive it second or third hand through…

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Day 4: The Gift of Resilience

by Kathy Beenen

Pick yourself up. Brush it off. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We all have casual phrases for moving forward in adversity. But the fact is, sometimes life deals a tragic blow, and there isn’t a phrase in the world that begins to capture the path forward. In Kigali, Rwanda, I met Petronaire, an Opportunity client who has built a successful tailoring business. She introduced me to her colleagues who are also seamstresses. While sketching designs and taking measurements, they started…

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