Issue no. 1 - 2014 Governor Community Connection
Opportunity for Continued Education
Education can make or break communities. Unfortunately, across much of Sub-Saharan Africa, a good education is not available to the vast majority of children and young adults: at least 58 percent never make it to secondary school, and only 6 percent of Africans continue to higher education. This lack of preparation and skills training has a dire result: 60 percent of Africa’s unemployed population is young people, which increases economic challenges on the world’s poorest continent.
Opportunity is helping brighten those grim statistics. As of June 2013, we’ve provided 2,583 Continuing Education loans to hard-working young people that are determined to attend college or vocational school. That’s a dramatic increase from 2012, when we gave 135 Continuing Education loans.
Over the last six months, we’ve continued to expand our outreach in countries including Ghana and Rwanda. Our loan officers are working closely with clients to determine their unique needs and circumstances, as well ensure a high rate of on-time loan repayments.
Higher education increases an individual’s income by an average of 18 percent per year, giving young people a greater chance to succeed and pull not just themselves, but their families and communities free from poverty. Together, we’re bringing bright students in some of the world’s toughest places a chance they’ve never had before: the opportunity to stay in school, learn, dream and plan for their future.
Growing Hope in Malawi
Malawi is consistently one of the world’s poorest countries; in 2012, it ranked as the world’s ninth-most impoverished nation by gross domestic product per capita. That same year, Malawi suffered a serious setback, when political and economic turmoil gutted the country’s exports, including sugar and tea.
Opportunity International is helping Malawi back from the brink. Last year, our programs in Malawi:
- Disbursed 4,425 loans to farmers – since 2009, we’ve helped more than 46,000 farmers build their assets and improve their incomes;
- Built and maintained strong partnerships with local extension agents and service providers who help farmers with high-quality seeds, loans and crop insurance for our clients; and
- Developed an alliance with Lujeri Tea Estates to lend to at least 3,000 farmers, helping shore up that critical sector.
In 2013, Malawi boasted a 5.7 percent national growth rate – up from just 2 percent in 2012. You’ve helped farmers sow the seeds of hope, which not only keeps their children in school and puts food on the table, but also leads their nation toward a full recovery.