Opportunity International Receives $1 Million for Education Finance

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Chicago, IL 60607

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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

The Crisis

Worldwide, 70% of those living on less than $2 a day are women and girls, according to UN Women. Unfortunately, these women are more vulnerable to forced labor, malnutrition and violence. The greatest challenge facing these women is not lack of knowledge or motivation, but a lack of access to financial services and training to launch businesses, support their families, educate their children and strengthen their local economies. Opportunity International focuses significant attention and resources on empowering women. 

Challenges and Solutions

The Challenge: No Bank Account to Save Money - women in low-income households have few ways to prepare for unexpected events and expenses

Opportunity's Solution: Savings Accounts - enabling women to build small businesses, earn income and better support their families

The Challenge: No Support for Businesses - millions of women lack access to the basic financial tools they need to be successful, including access to loans

Opportunity's Solution: MicroLoans - empowering women to build small businesses, earn income and better support their families

The Challenge: No Defense Against Catastrophes - female-headed households have a particularly difficult time recovering from unexpected tragedies, such as small harvests or a death in the family

Opportunity's Solution: MicroEnsure - protecting families against loss from unforseen events with life, disability, health, property and weather insurance

The Challenge: Limited Access to Education - girls are the first to be removed from school when family finances suffer, and they often stop attending when they reach adolescence due to inadequate school sanitation facilities

Opportunity's Solution: Educational Access - equipping parents and school proprietors with school fee loans and school improvement loans that help keep girls in school 

The Impact

"Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health – including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation. And I would also venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended." - Kofi Annan

95 percent of our loans go to women who use our financial services and training to work their way out of poverty and build financial security for their families. As a result, clients can send their children to school, create jobs in their communities and completely transform their lives. 

In Action: Meet Beathe Irbagiza

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