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News Blog

50 for 50: Why I've Spent My Career at Opportunity

by Allison Kooser

Several of Opportunity International’s longest-serving staff members looked back at their careers and reflected on what makes Opportunity special. We are honored to share their reflections and grateful for their decades of service. Cindy Schwab-Salem (far right) joins staff, donors, and international visitors at an Opportunity women’s event in Arizona in 2011. “In my opinion, there is no greater cause than raising money to support hard-working entrepreneurs around the world to lift themselves…

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50 for 50: 7 Fundraisers We’ll Never Forget

by Allison Kooser

Opportunity’s work for the last 50 years has been made possible by an incredible community. From corporate partners to family foundations to individual donors, our supporters have invested in and created opportunities for hard-working people around the world.  Occasionally, these generous people—people just like you!—decide to get creative with their giving and rally their friends and family to join them. Through peer-to-peer fundraisers, community giving, and wild challenges, Opportunity…

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When one plus one equals three: A tale of a unique collaboration to reach more children living in poverty

by Mauricio Rincon

For 50 years, Opportunity International has been a waymaker for individuals, foundations, churches, and corporations to share in our mission to serve the most marginalized people in the world, empower them to build their livelihoods, and enable them to break free from poverty. A significant milestone in our journey was announced on November 1, when we unveiled a $100 million collaboration with Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based social impact investor and worldwide cooperative promoting sustainable…

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50 for 50: Understanding Opportunity's Refugee Initiatives

by Tineyi Mawocha

This essay is a selection from the special edition of UnPoverty by Mark Lutz. The new edition will release this fall in celebration of Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary, featuring new chapters from leaders throughout Opportunity’s history. Alex Mango Ishingwa is a contractor who lives in Nakivale, Western Uganda, along with his wife and two children. He founded the Wakati Foundation to help fellow refugees find work. His foundation was contracted by Opportunity International to…

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50 for 50: Building Healthy Communities

by Mukti Bosco and Gayathri Prashanth

This essay is a selection from the special edition of UnPoverty by Mark Lutz. The new edition will release this fall in celebration of Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary, featuring new chapters from leaders throughout Opportunity’s history. India faces intense challenges on every level. Over the past two years, the healthcare infrastructure throughout the country has been thoroughly tested, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are devastating. Every person in India has been affected…

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We’re thankful for…great books!

by Allison Kooser

In this season of gratitude, one of the things we’re most thankful for is a great book. With cooler temperatures and the holidays fast approaching, the time is right to curl up with a novel and get lost in an incredible story. This month, join the Opportunity Book Club as we read How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue.  Set in a fictional African village, How Beautiful We Were explores colonialism, ancestry, the environment, and the power of community in the face of enormous challenges. Through…

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50 for 50: Remembering Opportunity International in Russia

by Stacie Schrader

In 1991, at 24 years old, I felt called to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (then still the Soviet Union city of Gorky). At the time I was curious about the political, social, and economic changes that were taking place in communist countries. And in those first days, I often wondered where the Lord had brought me. Then, within months of my arrival, the Soviet Union collapsed. Amidst the ruins of the former political system, economic chaos reigned. I witnessed long lines for bread, and rising poverty and…

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50 for 50: Origin Stories - Asia

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International finds its origins in two corners of the world. While Al Whittaker began making loans in Latin America, Opportunity’s co-founder David Bussau initiated a loan program in Indonesia following a devastating earthquake. In 1974, a farmer named Ketut received Opportunity International’s first loan in Asia. With $50 from Bussau, Ketut and his wife began a tailoring business after purchasing a sewing machine. The microfinance program proved as effective as it was replicable—in…

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A Conversation with the VISA Foundation on SDG #1 – No Poverty

by Opportunity International

October 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, celebrated worldwide to recognize the struggles of those living in poverty and promote dialogue amongst stakeholders to end poverty once and for all. See how Opportunity International is working alongside other industry leaders to fulfill a shared vision-no poverty. Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon recently sat down with Graham Macmillan, President of Visa Foundation, during Ideagen’s “17 Days of Sustainability” event.…

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Women as Agents of Change

by Opportunity International

For decades, families living in rural communities in India have struggled to access high-quality financial services. As the nation developed and rapidly introduced modern banking infrastructure, remote regions were excluded from this financial progress. In rural communities, banking was all-too-often characterized by long distances to the nearest branch, over-crowded branches, and poor customer service. To address this exclusion and the challenges of last-mile delivery, banks hired and trained banking…

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