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News Blog

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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50 for 50: 7 Facts about our progress out of poverty

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International has spent 50 years learning what clients need to break the cycle of poverty. Through innovative solutions that help families build sustainable livelihoods, farmers improve their yields, and children go to school, we have been part of a global movement to reduce extreme poverty—a movement that has seen remarkable progress since our founding in 1971. This weekend as we celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we are looking back at just how far we’ve…

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50 for 50: The Earliest Trust Groups

by Susy Cheston with Alexis Beggs Olsen

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. The small squatter community was carved into a barren hillside in Soyapango, near the capital city of El Salvador. I was inching my 20-year-old car along, bottoming out on the deeply rutted roads, searching for a group of poor women who I had heard…

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Navigating our interconnected world

by Allison Kooser

Opportunity International is an organization that works across borders, so communication and understanding are at the heart of so much of our work. Learning how to navigate cultural differences well makes us better leaders, better partners, and better collaborators. This month, we are wading into these differences as we read The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer. Meyer, a professor at the renowned international business school, Institut Européen…

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50 for 50: The Power of Digital Finance

by Simona Haiduc and Robinah Zawedde

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. The economic landscape of Africa is changing because women like Stella, Millie and Charity are starting and sustaining their own microenterprises. Stella Msambachikho is an entrepreneur in Malawi who sells clothing and accessories in a market. She…

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50 for 50: Revisiting the Sustainable Development Goals

by Allison Kooser

In 2015, 193 countries committed to 17 ambitious goals—goals designed to promote and measure progress toward equity and development worldwide. These goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were a renewed vision by the United Nations following 2000’s Millennium Development Goals and provide a global benchmark for critical, sustainable progress. Achieving them will require the commitment and creativity of nations and organizations alike, and the 169 targets outlined within the…

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50 for 50: Exploring the Graduation Model

by Carine Roenen and Steven Werlin

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. When we first met Elda, she was living in ultra-poverty. She had two children and no income. But a lack of income does not adequately describe the deprivations and dangers that families living in ultra-poverty face. Many are unable to send their…

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50 for 50: The Role of Biometrics in Financial Inclusion

by Opportunity International

On International Women’s Day 2011, Opportunity International launched its “Banking on Women” Campaign, an initiative designed to build awareness of the transformative impact of financial services on women’s empowerment. Among its multiple education and fundraising elements, the campaign described the latest innovations related to increasing financial accessibility, one of which was biometric technology.  A few years earlier, in 2003, we had opened the Opportunity International Bank of Malawi…

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You’ll be happy to revisit this classic

by Allison Kooser

In the midst of the back-to-school rush, we’re picking up a book that has a prominent place on high school reading lists—and for great reason. This month, join us as we read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The most widely read book in modern African literature, Things Fall Apart tells the story of Okonkwo, an Igbo warrior who fights to maintain his culture in the face of colonialism. Okonkwo’s fictional story paints a stark picture of the despair and loss that accompanied the fight for…

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