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News Blog

Vote for Nathan Byrd to Speak at SXSW Eco

by Lauren Thorn

Opportunity International has nominated Nathan Byrd, our Head of Education Finance, to speak at South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco), a space for business leaders, investors, innovators and designers to drive economic, environmental and social change. We hope that you will help Nathan’s presentation, \"Entrepreneurship in Education: Real Access for All,\" secure a spot on SXSW Eco’s final event roster. All you need to do is follow these 3 easy steps!  Create an account on SXSW Panel Picker by using…

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Creating Sustainable Futures on the International Day of Families

by Lauren Thorn

Maya Angelou once said, “I sustain myself with the love of family.” If love of family sustains us, what sustains a family? Families everywhere have the same dreams for their children: to achieve a happy, healthy and successful future, and parents are the foundation to nurturing these dreams. They give their children intangibles like guidance, love and support to fulfill their goals, but oftentimes they struggle to give their children tangible things to sustain them like food, education and healthcare.…

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What A Gift!

by Lydia Baldridge Meier

I got an email last night alerting me that my husband had created a patch for me on Opportunity’s Mother’s Day Quilt. I’ve worked for Opportunity for 12 years, and have always loved the way Mother’s Day is particularly meaningful to the work we do to empower mothers and fathers to provide for their families. But in recent years, since I’ve become a mother myself, my inspiration has redoubled. Knowing how I’d move heaven and earth for my two kids, I can better understand why our clients…

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To you, superhero moms – thank you.

by Allison Kooser

As a writer for Opportunity International (one of the best jobs on the planet), I have spent years writing variations of the phrase “Opportunity empowers women to create bright futures for their children.” I interviewed clients who spoke about their greatest hopes for the future; women who always, always, without fail, said that their number one goal was to give their children possibilities that they might not have had themselves. I told the story that mothers want their children to be able to…

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The Power of MicroFinance on Educating Children in the Developing World

by Opportunity International

Opportunity's Head of Education Finance, Nathan Byrd, spoke with The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 about microfinance and its role in expanding access to education in the developing world. Our client, Comfort, also shared her story about how she started her own school in Ghana, which inspired her daughter, Priscilla, to do the same.

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A Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

by Beth Kieffer Leonard

Beth recently traveled on an Insight Trip to Rwanda and graciously shared about her experience after visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Rwanda changed my life (and not just because of the gorillas, although that was part of it). With the specter of the Holocaust a permanent part of my psyche since reading Elie Wiesel's Night when I was 10 years old, genocide's horror has always been just below the surface for me. For years, I tried to discover how the world could turn its back on human…

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For the Love of Chocolate: Improving Lives of Cocoa Farmers Around the World

by Heather Kaczrowski

During the week of Valentine’s Day, more than 58 million pounds of chocolate will be purchased in the United States and delivered to friends and loved ones in heart-shaped boxes or red-colored foil. Yet before the pink and red packaging, and before the caramel or nougat-filled centers, our much-loved chocolate candies first begin as small cocoa beans grown and harvested by one of the five million smallholder cocoa farmers living in developing countries. Approximately 80-90% of cocoa in the world…

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Love Your Neighbor

by Diane Ferguson

The celebration of Valentine’s Day typically centers on romantic love. This year since Valentine’s Day and the start of the Lenten season fall within a week of each other, I am challenging myself (and of course you) to focus on love in all of its varying forms, particularly love for our neighbor.  The Greeks describe love in four forms: Eros, (romantic), Phileo, (friendship), Storge (family) and Agape (unconditional, enduring love). Agape is described as “to take pleasure in the thing, prize…

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Giving Up Indifference for Lent

by Lydia Baldridge Meier

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of Lent for those who observe that period leading up to Easter, preparing hearts and minds for Jesus’ act of love and sacrifice. Many mark the period by making sacrifices of their own, giving up foods or other indulgences. The Pope’s Lenten message last year has been particularly striking for me.  He asked that we consider giving up indifference toward others. That we open up our hearts to suffering and pain, lest “We end up being incapable of feeling…

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Vicki Escarra and Members of C200 visit Uganda

by Opportunity International

C200 members Jennifer Smith, Beth Leonard, Vicki Escarra, Angela Bastian and Amy Langer visited the areas of Kawempe and Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda, last week to meet Opportunity International clients and see the organization’s humanitarian programs in action.  

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