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Chicago, IL 60607

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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Transforming the Next Generation

By Allison Kooser

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to meet our clients and staff. While there I met Rwamubende, an Opportunity client and cattle farmer in rural Uganda.

Rwamubende has a serious exterior but a big heart. He proudly showed us his ever-growing farm and introduced us to the many farmhands he employs. When we took his photo, we teased, “Seca! Seca!” (“Smile!” in Luganda) and he laughed at our accents. He explained how Opportunity allowed him to build a new home to replace his much smaller old one that still stood next to his beautiful new house.

He is a true success story. And he taught me something powerful about Opportunity's impact.

While touring his farm - a farm that has grown tremendously thanks to careful investment of Opportunity loans - Rwamubende introduced us to his son. At 20 years old, his son is still in school, headed to University this fall. This in and of itself is significant, but is even more impressive considering that Rwamubende himself is illiterate.

His son and I got to talking and I asked him if he wanted to be a farmer like his dad. "No," he responded, "I want to study business and work for Opportunity."

I was so impressed.

This, to me, is the true mark of Opportunity’s work. The fact that a farmer’s son has the dream and the education he needs to find work in the financial sector is incredible. It’s not an insult to his father’s profession – it’s a completion of his father’s dream. Rwamubende sought out capital from Opportunity to grow his business and build a bright future for his children.

And now his children and living out this dream.

Rwamubende and his son reminded me of another parent/child pair – Opportunity client Remy and her daughter Amina in the Philippines. Amina also dreamed of doing something bigger – and Opportunity empowered Remy to make her daughter’s vision a reality. Today, Amina works for Opportunity in the Philippines – empowering even more parents to create bright, anything-is-possible futures for their children.

Amina spoke to Opportunity supporters and expressed this sentiment beautifully, saying, “You are creating change and you are creating impact. And what you are doing here matters. Not just to the families who are receiving the loans, but to their children, and the children after that who may never know the name of Opportunity International because they won’t be poor anymore and they won’t be needing that loan.”

This is a mark of Opportunity’s impact – that lives and families are transformed so that future generations don’t need Opportunity. Don’t need specialized services. Aren’t living in poverty anymore. For families like Remy and Amina and Rwamubende, these dreams are already coming true.

 

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