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News Blog

Tribute to Juan Ulloa

by Dale Patterson

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 I first met Juan Ulloa in the late ’90s as we led Opportunity International Canada Insight Trips to Nicaragua, and we made a connection that I will cherish forever. Juan was a giant in our industry — as a leader and a man of God — and it was such an honour for us to serve alongside him. Opportunity Canada hosted Juan and his wife Ivania for one of our International…

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Opportunity International United States statement in support of racial equity, justice, and flourishing

by Opportunity International United States

As we join the world in anguish and lament over racism, oppression, violence, and injustice, we recall the very tenets on which Opportunity was founded.    Opportunity International exists to extend opportunity to those living in poverty in the developing world – Africa, Asia, and Latin America — giving them the means to overcome oppressive economic and social systems, improve their lives, and join the economic mainstream. We do this, motivated by our call to serve those who are left behind…

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June Book Club: The Hundred Wells of Salaga

by Opportunity International

The Opportunity Book Club began in 2018 with a curated reading list that represented a wide range of geographies, authors, and perspectives. Our community has traveled around the world from the comfort of our couches, investing in the lives and stories of people whose experiences often look so much different than our own. Now—as our national conversation centers around learning and challenging long-entrenched ways of thinking, dismantling systemic racism, and opening our ears to voices that…

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Update from Our Partners in Haiti

by Opportunity International

In an effort to reach some of the most marginalized people in the world, Opportunity partners with Fonkoze, a microfinance organization in Haiti. If you have never been, Haiti is a country filled with resilient people who face some of the most challenges circumstances we have ever seen. The work Opportunity supports there serves women who live on the margins, earn less than $1 per day, suffer from hunger, and have no assets or access healthcare. People like this are often the ones who suffer the…

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Mozambique: One Year After Cyclone Idai

by Opportunity International

Mozambique: One Year After Cyclone Idai by Mary Pat McVay Rallying Together | It Truly Does Take A Village | We Don't Quit   A few weeks ago, I spoke to my colleagues Doreen and Melba to get an update on the COVID-19 situation in Mozambique and see how they were coping and adapting. We chatted about the teenagers the three of us have at home, what kind of virtual learning they are engaged in, and how much time they should be allowed on social media with friends. Then Doreen said, “It’s good…

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Finding a Lifeline for the Poor and the Financial Institutions that Serve Them

by Sam Bickersteth and Deborah Foy, Opportunity International

The following post was originally published on LinkedIn on May 12, 2020. It was written by Sam Bickersteth and Deborah Foy are respectively Chief Executive and Senior Advisor of Opportunity International UK. The COVID-19 crisis has already hit the poor hard, and will hit them harder. Microfinance Institutions are close to affected groups and provide an essential lifeline - but are themselves under threat as deposits fall and the poor struggle with repayments. Supporting the financial institutions…

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6 Books to Read While Sheltering in Place

by Allison Kooser

With extended time at home, we have found ourselves turning to great books more than ever. Books open up the challenges and victories of other people’s worlds when we need an escape from our own; literary adventures provide an opportunity to travel and explore—no airplane required; and, a great page-turner is all we need on hand to learn something new in this season of quarantine. If you’re looking for a book to pick up while you’re sheltering in place, why not choose one of our favorite…

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The Importance of an Empty Grain Silo During COVID-19

by Heather Kaczrowski

The Lifeline of Africa | What They Face | Opportunity's Response  At the start of the lockdown in Illinois, I went to the grocery store. For the first time, I found myself anxious about food supply for my household and thinking through the ramifications of a crisis. For the first time, while walking through the aisles, I realized my fleeting feelings were just a fragment of the vulnerability and uncertainty that so many families around the world endure every day of their lives. Unlike so many of…

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Reflections on Daily Bread

by Atul Tandon

Amid so much darkness, there are small glimmers of light. Because of you, families who could have already crumbled under the economic shock caused by COVID-19 have some safety – a chance to survive, rebuild, and thrive once again. More than 12 million families have savings accounts, 5.7 million have access to digital banking, and all have local Opportunity staff who care deeply about their wellbeing. I think about clients like Linda Nyarko in Ghana, a woman who has inspired me and so many others.…

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A Shining Light in a Dark Season

by Atul Tandon

As we all learn to navigate the health, economic, and social changes caused by COVID-19, I find myself thinking often of our clients and neighbors living in extreme poverty. The reality for those living on less than $2 a day is unimaginable—without access to clean water and sanitation, already limited economic opportunities, and notably absent healthcare infrastructure, Opportunity clients are bracing for disaster. This is especially true in my home country of India, where the government-mandated…

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