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News Blog

Never too old for a children’s book

by Allison Kooser

The best children’s books resonate with us as adults, too—and that’s what makes our July Opportunity Book Club pick so special. In Home of the Brave, Katherine Applegate introduces us to Kek, a young Sudanese refugee. We join him as he navigates the challenges of a Minnesota winter and a new life in the United States alone. Kek was separated from his mother in an African refugee camp, and he must make sense of both a new place and the trauma of his past while he waits to learn his mother’s…

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Governor Spotlight: Paul Lilienthal

by Opportunity International

The idea of compelling missions work was a critical part of what drew Paul Lilienthal to Christ Presbyterian Church in 2017. But as he sat through a presentation on Opportunity International, he had no way of knowing the enormous role this organization would come to play in his life—and vice versa. As a former banker, the financial services component of Opportunity’s model made a lot of sense to him. And as the owner of Pictura Graphics, a printing company in Minneapolis, the idea of helping…

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We're Moving

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International’s U.S. headquarters are moving—we’re still in Chicago but at a new address! Drumroll… 101 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150Chicago, IL 60606 Download Contact Card Our U.S.-based staff is looking forward to setting up shop at our new location. Just as before, our office space will continue to be an inspiring place for our Opportunity International community to work, brainstorm, problem-solve and create opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. FAQ Where should…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Micheline

by Opportunity International

Women are not respected yet here. They don’t value us. For women to be valued, we will need support. I used to face so many difficulties with paying the technical fees to the school. My kids couldn’t go to school because they just tell them to come back home. “If you don’t bring the fee, don’t come back until you have it.” Sometimes we used to starve. We didn’t even have sugar to take tea. We just slept like that and would eat tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve seen a bank coming…

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Investing in Limitless Possibilities: Extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

by Allison Kooser

Extreme poverty limits the future. A family’s economic condition not only determines their immediate experiences—things like inadequate housing, poor health outcomes, and a dearth of educational opportunities—but also their imagined possibilities; their ability to design a better than the life they have now. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Bank estimates that 73% of the population lives in this condition, known as extreme poverty—which is defined as living on less…

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One man’s journey staring down prejudice, hunger, and life as a child soldier

by Allison Kooser

As a child, Mondiant Dogon fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his family and spent decades in UN tent cities, encountering danger and prejudice. He faced severe hunger, unimaginable violence, constant disruption, and even life as a child soldier. But his story didn’t end there. This month, we cannot wait to dive into Dogon’s incredible memoir as he recounts his experience as a refugee and advocates for displaced people around the globe. Join the Opportunity Book Club this June as…

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Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Lessons Learned in India Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Allison Kooser

When Shakuntala’s husband, who is a taxi driver, was stuck in Mumbai for an extended period during quarantine, she was locked down at home, struggling to feed her three children and elderly in-laws who live with her. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 25% of adults in households with children worldwide have gone a day or more without food. And the World Bank estimates that an additional 75 million to 95 million individuals will be pushed back into extreme poverty because of the economic impact…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Five Sisters

by Opportunity International

I’ve traveled all over the world, and met with hundreds of families living in poverty. I’ve sat on dirt floors of school classrooms and I’ve listened to their stories. So you would think that cultures would set us apart or maybe their challenges would divide us, but the thing is, parents all want the same thing: they all want to build a better life for their children. The family you see here wanted the same. Their father, Sekinder, drove his rickshaw taxi for more than 12 hours a day, yet he…

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Get Ready to Think Again

by Allison Kooser

This month’s book club pick invites you to think and think, and think again. Centered on the concept that we don’t know what we don’t know, Adam Grant’s Think Again offers readers an invitation to challenge our assumptions—and then consider why we bristle at that very notion. Grant, a celebrated organizational psychologist, introduces unique and engaging case studies to investigate how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, harness the surprising advantages of impostor syndrome, bring nuance…

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Celebrating 50 Years at the Opportunity International Summit

by Opportunity International

This spring, supporters and friends from around the world gathered in Chicago to celebrate Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary—a milestone marking five decades of service, impact, and transformation. After years of being apart due to the pandemic,  we were elated to finally reunite in-person as a community and commemorate this remarkable milestone in Opportunity’s history. We welcomed 350 supporters from around the globe for a weekend of fellowship, education, and celebration. We…

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