On Tuesday, Opportunity-UK’s Lydia Baffour Awuah made us all very proud when she carried the Olympic flame in Abingdon, U.K.–at 7:58 a.m. local time. Below, check out some photos of her big moment, provided by Harry Turner, CEO of Global Microfinance Operations.
The British bank Lloyds TSB is an Olympic sponsor and a strategic partner of Opportunity-UK, and they had a spot available for a torchbearer. So Lydia’s Opportunity colleagues nominated her, telling the story of her upbringing and her family’s struggles in Ghana. Here is her story:
Lydia is Ghanaian. She has five brothers and her parents made ends meet in a two-roomed house through sheer hard work. Getting jobs was near impossible but a small loan from an organization like Opportunity International gave her mum the hand-up the family needed to run a microenterprise.
Despite constant money worries, the children’s education was her parents’ priority. They always said, “We don’t have ‘cocoa’ to leave you (meaning an asset) but acquire knowledge and no one can take it from you.” Lydia remembers selling vegetables and charcoal in the scorching sun to help the family. One of the best days of her life was to see the smile on her parents’ faces when she graduated from university.
For 10 years, Lydia has worked for Opportunity; serving impoverished clients and raising money to give countless families, like her own, a way out of poverty.
Well done on your Olympic moment, Lydia!
Lydia with the torch.
Lighting the flame.
Waving to the crowd.
Handing off the flame.
Lydia with Opportunity-UK’s (from left) Jaymini, Deborah, Sally and Angela.
Triumphant Lydia with husband Akwasi and daughter Serwa.