On September 26, Opportunity International will celebrate the Caterpillar Foundation’s 20-year partnership. Opportunity estimates that nearly 18.3 million lives will be improved as a result of grants received from the Caterpillar Foundation from 1994 to 2014, which totals nearly $30 million. Because of their caring and generous partnership, our clients are working their way out of poverty, strengthening their families and building vibrant communities. Here is a glimpse into the lives of those impacted by the Caterpillar Foundation.
The far-reaching partnership between the Caterpillar Foundation and Opportunity International empowers women throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia such as Wendy, a chicken farmer in Uganda, to build their businesses and gain financial independence.
The Caterpillar Foundation’s partnership with Opportunity International has transformed many small farms into larger-scale operations through the agricultural finance initiative. The program focuses on five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda.
Maria Jose Lopez grew her hammock-weaving business to 13 employees, including six family members, over the past three years with Opportunity International’s support. She now sells the hammocks not just in her Masaya, Nicaragua, storefront, but also exports them to the U.S.
Caterpillar Foundation President Michele Sullivan visits Maryhill School in Uganda to see firsthand the impact of her organization’s 20-year partnership with Opportunity International. The partnership funds loans that help outfit classrooms with desks, supply students with textbooks and allow more parents to send their children to school.
Opportunity India’s Trust Groups provide entrepreneurs, such as these seamstresses in Chennai, India, access to professional development training, as well as a network of guarantors for their loans.
With the Caterpillar Foundation’s support, Opportunity International brings banking technology to the most remote communities in countries such as Malawi. Client Dorothy Makupe shows off her bank card, which uses biometric fingerprint technology to protect her accounts.